09:35 Friday 08 March 2013

Flood walls take shape in villages

Written byJOSHUA TAYLOR

FOR years rural communities around Burton have periodically had their lives blighted by flooding.

As the rain clouds begin to swarm ahead of a deluge, the hardened villagers of places like Egginton, Scropton and Hatton brace themselves for the worst.

At times the flooding has been truly horrendous, making many villages impassable and wreaking havoc on people’s lives and livelihoods.

Now, however, as these pictures show, measures to grant relief to homeowners living near the River Dove are finally beginning to take shape.

Although these flood defences, to the untrained eye, appear to be little more than large mounds of earth, they have the potential to improve the quality of life for flood-hit families immeasurably.

South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler said: “People can see these defences are really coming on and, although they have been talked about for so many years, the final bits of the jigsaw are coming together thanks to the local community and local businesses.”

The multi-million pound Lower Dove flood risk management scheme was officially launched in December — 10 years after the idea was first mooted — although construction work itself began last summer.

More than 1,600 properties are set to benefit from the scheme, which will significantly reduce the risk of flooding by raising, extending and improving the existing defences in Egginton, Scropton and Hatton.

The scheme was boosted by a £1.65 million cash injection from coffee company Nestle, which has a factory in Hatton.

Members of the community also did their bit, with collections over the years amounting to more than £25,000.

Mrs Wheeler said: “It is just so pleasing that so many people’s houses will be made safer by these defences.

“They give us all reassurance that we can look forward to the future.”

The scheme has been developed by the Environment Agency and work is being led by Birse Civils.

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