MP backs flood protection scheme

10.08.2009

A North East MP and Under-Secretary of State for Defence is to discover how homes in his constituency will be protected in the fight against flooding.

Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham, will visit Northumbrian Water’s £2.7 million improvement scheme at Chester-le-Street, to witness the first stages of construction work.

Mr Jones will also take time out of his demanding schedule to meet residents who have suffered flooding in the past and who will benefit from the improvement scheme.

Reporters and photographers are invited to see Kevan Jones MP break the first piece of ground for the scheme on Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 10.30am.  Please report to the site compound at Beverley Gardens, Chester-le-Street, DH3 3NB.

The seven-month improvement programme, which began today (Monday, August 10, 2009), will reduce the risk of flooding to 11 properties on the Garden Farm Estate and a further 47 properties around the Ropery Lane area of Chester-le-Street, on Ivanhoe Terrace, Benson Street, Relton Terrace, Red Rose Terrace, Ropery Lane, Lumley Terrace, Lambton Street and Broadwood View.

The work will involve upsizing more than 2.5 km of sewer pipe, as well as installing a storm water storage tank at Coniston Close on the Garden Farm Estate. The tank can hold more than 1.2 million litres of water in times of heavy rainfall which will be returned to the sewerage network, to be treated, after the storm.

Two combined sewer overflows at Beverley Gardens and Chester Park are to be installed, to discharge diluted wastewater into watercourses in times of very heavy rainfall. These are consented by the Environment Agency to further protect properties and surrounding land from flooding.

Kevan Jones MP, said: “I am delighted to be able to see the beginning of this scheme, which I know will make a huge difference to many local residents.

“I know that this has been an issue of great concern to a number of my constituents for many years, so I am very pleased that Northumbrian Water are investing this money to reduce the risk from flooding in these parts of Chester-le-Street, and provide some much needed peace of mind to my constituents. I very much look forward to seeing the works progress.”

Colin Devlin, a resident of Broadwood View, whose home has been flooded in the past, said: “I’m very relieved that the work is going to begin and hopefully solve the flooding problem.

“Mr Jones has been excellent in the way he’s dealt with this issue and interacted with Northumbrian Water on our behalf.”

Richard Woodhouse, investment delivery team leader, who will accompany Mr Jones on the site visit, said: “This flood protection scheme is the result of many years of working in partnership with the residents of Chester-le-Street, Durham County Council, Kevan Jones MP and other agencies, so it’s satisfying to see construction finally underway. The visit is an excellent opportunity for our experts to explain the work to Mr Jones and his constituents.”

“We appreciate that flooding is distressing for customers and so reducing this risk is one of Northumbrian Water’s priorities. This scheme is part of our five year, £380 million investment programme, between 2005 and 2010, to upgrade our vast sewerage network.”

For further information contact Leanne Clough on 0191 301 6733.

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