July 30, 2021 11.52 am This story is over 34 months old

Huge £55m boost to Greater Lincolnshire flood defences

Homes and businesses are to be better protected

More than £55 million will be invested in multiple flood defence projects across Greater Lincolnshire.

The £55.3 million for Greater Lincolnshire is being invested in 59 schemes in 2021/22. It is part of a record investment of £76.3 million for 2021/22, with £8.2 million for Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

The remaining £12.8 million is for work across the whole operational area, including Greater Lincolnshire. This includes activities such as work to bridges, refurbishment, modelling and forecasting.

Homes and businesses are to be better protected from flooding and coastal erosion as part of the Flood and Coastal Erosion Investment Plan published on Thursday, July 29 by the government and Environment Agency.

Further action includes improvements to flood insurance to help encourage installation measures such as air bricks and flood doors.

The investment in Lincolnshire includes natural flood management in Swaton, and Saltfleet to Gibraltar Point beach management. An interactive map is available here detailing the location of the various schemes.

Natural flood management – Swaton

This £1 million project will use natural flood management techniques to hold back water and reduce the flood risk to three villages historically impacted by flooding.

The Environment Agency is working closely with farmers to install attenuation ponds and swales on their arable land. This will slow the flow of water by storing it and letting it slowly seep into the soil.

It is hoped that the construction of the project will be completed this winter. The work will then be monitored for three years by Heriot Watt University to assess how well the features are storing water and how much flood risk has reduced.

Saltfleet to Gibraltar Point beach management

A massive £8.5 million will be invested this year, including the annual beach nourishment scheme and repairs to the hard sea defences along 26 miles of the Lincolnshire coast.

This will reduce the risk of tidal flooding to more than 30,000 homes and businesses, 19,000 static caravans, and 35,000 hectares of land.

Investigations into the condition of the sea walls will inform the long-term investment strategy for future flood risk management.

It is part of a £860 million of national investment, which will be spent in 2021/22 boosting design and construction of more than 1,000 schemes across England. It is also part of plans outlining £5.2 billion of investment over the next six years.

The funding will be accompanied by a consultation in the autumn. The government will look at how to better protect frequently flooded communities and consider how to strengthen the assessment of local circumstances when allocating funding during the six-year plan.

The government will also bring in tighter guidance for planning authorities. More than 97% of planning decisions for residential properties were made in line with Environment Agency advice in 2019/20.

However, the recent review of decisions by Defra, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Environment Agency also found that 866 homes were granted planning permission contrary to Environment Agency advice.

The Environment Agency is set to release further details of exactly where the rest of the money will be spent, in the coming days.