Derby

£95m River Derwent flood defence scheme gets under way

Work on the River Derwent
Image caption Derby City Council said 2,000 homes and businesses in the area would be "a lot safer" as a result of the new and adapted flood defences

Work has begun on a £95m flood defence scheme which will help protect 2,000 homes and businesses across Derbyshire.

Flood walls will be improved or knocked down and replaced along a 13km (8-mile) stretch of the River Derwent.

Council officials believe the work, due to finish in 2022, will reduce the annual risk of flooding in the area from 25 to 1 to 100 to 1.

But residents have said some parts of the scheme are "dependent" on private sector development.

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The walls were built soon after flooding in the area 50 years ago, with water reaching "within six inches" of the top of the current defences in 2000, according to residents.

David Bartram, from Derby City Council, said people would be "a lot safer" as a result of the scheme - which will also see nearly 500 trees chopped down but 600 replanted.

"You can never protect against every flood but what we're doing is sensibly reducing the risk of flooding and planning for the future," he said.

Image caption The council said the project's timeframe depends on how quickly they can get permission to build on privately-owned land

The newly-built walls will be approximately 6ft (1.8m) high with a glass top.

Adrian Perry, from the local residents' association, said some "question marks" remained over the project.

"Certain parts of the scheme are dependent on private sector development to provide these flood defences and given the economy at the moment, there are big question marks about when that will take place, if it will take place," he said.

A council spokesman added there is no issue with funding for the scheme, but admitted its timeframe relies on obtaining planning permission to build defences on sections of land along the river not owned by the authority.

Image copyright Derby City Council
Image caption Residents are pleased the work has begun, but said "question marks" remained over certain aspects of the project

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