New map reveals flood risks to Norfolk
The potential flooding risk to thousands of homes in the heart of the Norfolk must not be forgotten because so much attention has been focused on the problems the county’s coast has suffered, councillors have warned.
And questions have been asked over whether more needs to be done to dredge the county’s rivers, with some councillors saying work to stop water ending up in rivers is being undermined by the Environment Agency’s failure to dredge them.
Norfolk is the 10th most at-risk area for flooding in the UK, according to the Environment Agency. And a new map has revealed the number of properties in the county deemed to be at risk of flooding in the type of flood which happens once every 30 years.
That map shows Norwich, Fakenham, Coltishall, Aylsham, Wroxham and Hoveton are among locations where the most properties would be affected by such a flood. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has made £24m available to risk management authorities –which includes the county council, district councils and the Environment Agency –this year, to put in measures to prevent that flooding. Another £16m is likely to be available next year.
Projects the £24m is being spent on includes a contribution towards the long-term Great Yarmouth tidal defence scheme and ongoing beach management at Hunstanton and Heacham.
But councillors yesterday said flooding by inland rivers must not be forgottent.
Bill Borrett, leader of the Conservative group at Norfolk County Council, said: “I am a member of the Norfolk Rivers Internal Drainage Board and we have immense frustration with the Environment Agency for the work they are not doing on the river Wensum. All of the work the internal drainage board is doing to protect properties is being undermined by the fact the Environment Agency does not believe in dredging.
“The river Wensum, upstream of Norwich, is the area with the most properties which are at risk of flooding in Norfolk. It’s not on the coast - it’s right in the heart of Norfolk.”
No-one from the Environment Agency was available for comment.
Surface water drainage plans - which highlight flood risk and potential ways to mitigate them – have been produced for Greater Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Plans for King’s Lynn, North Norfolk and South Norfolk are being worked on.
Do you think enough is being done to protect Norfolk from flooding? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.