Permanent flood defences approved for Upton-upon-Severn

Image caption,
The town was badly affected by the flooding in the county in 2007

Permanent flood defences are to be built in a Worcestershire town badly hit by flooding in 2007.

The proposals for Upton-upon-Severn are estimated to cost £4.5m and were approved by Malvern District Council.

Residents are split over whether the design will preserve or destroy the waterfront which is classed as a conservation area.

The design is "on balance, considered acceptable" with regard to the conservation impact, the council said.

The council has agreed for a flood wall of varying height which includes glass panels, flood gates and raising the road along part of Upton Waterside to be introduced.

The will be a number of listed buildings adjacent to the wall.

The council said there had been 70 flooding incidents in Upton since 1970 and the town has a one in two chance of flooding in any given year.

'Destroy tourism'

There are 64 properties in the town, including 28 in Waterside, that have a chance of flooding of 1 in 150 or greater in any given year.

Almost 300 letters of objections were sent to the council with people claiming the defences would be an eyesore, "destroying" the Waterside area and causing tourism to decline.

Some residents said a semi-demountable barrier would be more sympathetic but that idea had been rejected by the Environment Agency due to the overall cost and loss of resilience against flooding, the council said.

People who said they supported the plans said the defences would "enhance and improve the riverside town" safeguarding its future.

The council approved plans for flood defences in another part of the town usually affected by flooding in July, the spokesman added.

"The design of the proposed flood risk management scheme is, on balance, considered to be acceptable, with regard to the impact upon the conservation area and the setting of adjacent listed buildings," the council said.

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