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Flood protection scheme gets under way

4:56pm - 20 July 2020

Work has started today (Monday 20 July) on a major £1.4m scheme which will protect a North Somerset area from future flooding.

Improvements to Summer Lane ponds and surrounding ditches in Weston-super-Mare were due to start in March but were delayed by the outbreak of Covid-19. The 17-week scheme will take four weeks longer than originally planned to allow for social distancing safety measures.

The upgrade aims to protect 85 homes and businesses at risk from flooding during periods of heavy rainfall. The works, which will be carried out by North Somerset Council contractors Skanska, will provide properties in the area with a protection level of a ‘once in two hundred years’ flood event.

The project includes building a new water storage area and joining ditches near the paths either side of the zebra crossing on Bransby Way, to help water flow away safely underneath Somerset Avenue. To connect these ditches the road will close to allow the installation of a new pipe.

While the road is closed North Somerset Council will also replace damaged kerbs and make improvements for buses at the junction with Shrewsbury Bow and Bransby Way.

Cllr Bridget Petty, the council’s executive member for climate emergency and environment, said: "It's awful for anyone who suffers flooding. The council takes this very seriously and we're pleased to be able to get under way with this major scheme that will significantly reduce the risk of flooding in this area of Locking Castle.

“We have worked closely with our contractors Skanska to respond to current government guidelines and adapt our project plans.

“By taking advantage of the road closure needed for this scheme to do other improvement works at the same time we are able to minimise disruption as much as possible.

“This scheme is also a great example of collaborative working, which funding coming from the Environment Agency, the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, North Somerset Council and Wessex Water.”

Full details of the road closure will be available at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/roadworks once finalised by engineers, which is expected to be in August.

Current project plans may change in response to the continuing coronavirus situation. North Somerset Council will follow government advice to make sure residents, staff and contractors are kept as safe as possible.