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02/12/2014

£2.3bn flood defences announced

Words: Laura Edgar

The Treasury has today set out plans for more than 1,400 flood defence projects to better protect 300,000 homes.

Part of the new National Infrastructure Plan (NIP), the six-year programme aims to prevent more than £30 billion of economic damage.

Major projects that have been allocated money include £80 million to the Humber Estuary, £196 million of the Thames Estuary programme and £73 million for the Boston Barrier.

The remaining money will be shared between Tonbridge, Yalding and the surrounding communities; and Oxford Conveyance and the Rossall Coastal Defence Improvement.

Lib-Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said: “We all saw the destruction and heartache caused by flooding last year and that is why this investment is vital to build Britain’s defences for the future.

“The projects we are announcing today will protect some of the country’s most at-risk locations ensuring that we will be as prepared as possible for future severe weather.” 

In addition, £15.5 million will be spent on flood defences in Somerset to protect 7,000 homes, £4.2 million of which will be spent on the Somerset Levels and Moors.

Labour shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle said: “Communities at risk of flooding won’t buy government spin on what is simply a re-announcement of capital funding confirmed a year ago. This is not new money - at the beginning of this Parliament David Cameron cut the flood protection budget by over a £100 million a year. As a result we are playing catch-up on flood defences.

“There have been reports of a £500 million black hole in these plans which the government expects communities to meet themselves. This kind of uncertainty is unfair on those affected - we need a proper long-term plan for infrastructure investment including flooding, which is why we have called for an Independent National Infrastructure Commission.”

Image ©RodW

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