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Leicester begins work to reduce flood risk

Words: Laura Edgar

Leicester City Council and the Environment Agency yesterday began work to reduce the flood risk in the city.

Approximately 7,000 properties are at risk in Leicester from river flooding, in particular from the River Soar and its urban tributaries.

To help combat this, part of the first phase of the city’s flood risk management scheme is taking place on a section of the River Biam near the Great Central Way. It aims to remove the build-up of silt from the two southernmost arches of the Biam Bridge.

Expected to take six weeks, ground level will be lowered to beneath the arches by approximately one metre. It is hoped that the work will reduce the risk of 250 homes flooding in Braunstone Town and Aylestone.

Further work has been planned for the River Soar and should take place in 2015.

The mayor for Leicester, Peter Soulsby, has said that the ongoing work being carried out aims to ensure that the city’s flood management is in a position to cope with the challenges posed by climate change as well as the demands of a modern-day city. “We’re currently consulting on a flood alleviation plan for the city, and investing in tackling some of the main problem areas. The work at the bridge will lessen flood risk across a wide area of the city.”

Jon Vann, the Environment Agency’s lead on the project, added: “Together with partners in Leicester City Council, we’re developing a holistic approach to reducing flood risk for the local community, as well as delivering economic and environmental benefits.

“We will do everything possible to minimise any disruption and will put the safety of the public at the heart of our project.”