Flood defence scheme is approved

A £500,000 flood prevention scheme has been approved to prevent flooding chaos returning to an Essex village.For the last two years politicians in Sible Hedingham, near Halstead, have been lobbying for a flood alleviation scheme in the village.

A £500,000 flood prevention scheme has been approved to prevent flooding chaos returning to an Essex village.

For the last two years politicians in Sible Hedingham, near Halstead, have been lobbying for a flood alleviation scheme in the village.

Parts of the village ended up under up to 5ft of muddy water in floods in the autumns of 2000 and 2001.

The flooding was worst in the Sugarloaves area and Alderford Street, which crosses the River Colne.

The village library was closed for several weeks after water reached depths of 3ft inside the Swan Street building, damaging books, carpet and furniture.

Now Essex County Council has agreed to pay for a scheme to build holding lagoons, which will be capable of storing a large amount of water, which might otherwise deluge the village.

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David Finch, who represents Hedingham on Essex County Council, said: "Two big floods in that area caused substantial damage to properties in the area. One house is now unoccupiable as a result of flooding.

"It was a source of great distress to people in the immediate area and further up the river as well."

The county council agreed to fund the scheme because the main problem was caused by water running off the land onto the roads, rather than the river bursting its banks.

Mr Finch said: "I've been lobbying hard for flood alleviation work and I'm very pleased the funding has been secured finally."

The work will start this year and should be completed within 12 to 18 months.

Last year residents of Halstead were angered when a £3.3 million Environment Agency flood prevention plan for their town was put back a year due to a change in priorities by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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