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Morpeth flood defences 'to be approved'

31 January 12 19:51
Morpeth residents leaving flooded homes in 2008. Photo: PA

Plans for flood defences in a Northumberland town are set to be approved, the BBC understands.

Nearly 1,000 properties were flooded in Morpeth in September 2008 when the River Wansbeck breached its banks.

The county council has allocated £12m and the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee has allocated £10.6m.

The scheme is expected to be approved by the Environment Agency next week, BBC Look North Environmental Correspondent Adrian Pitches said.

Previous plans for flood defences in Morpeth had been halted by cuts announced in the government's Spending Review.

The new plans involve building floodwater storage reservoirs upstream and new flood walls in the town itself.

The Environment Agency is due to discuss the plans at a meeting on 9 February.

Ian Hodge, regional flood and coastal risk manager, said: "Together, the Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council aim to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 1,000 homes and businesses in the town.

"The council will contribute up to £12m towards the scheme and a further £10.6m has been identified in government funding, however this has to receive formal approval from the Environment Agency Board."

Work is expected to start early next year.

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