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Flood prevention workto start in Whitley

posted 18 Feb 2016, 12:25 by Rachel Eden

PEOPLE living in Harness Close will become the latest Whitley residents to benefit from work to further reduce the risk of flooding in South Reading.

Works begin on a local flood alleviation scheme for Harness Close on Monday next week (Feb 22) and are expected to run for four weeks.

The project involves installing new drainage kerbs, which will run into a new drainage ditch from the parking area east of Harness Close, through to a path at the rear of the park. A drainage pipe will then link to an existing culvert under the B3270.

Harness Close was one of a number of roads affected in South Reading when an estimated four inches of heavy rain fell in the space of just a few hours on July 20th 2007, creating substantial surface water flooding in the South Reading area. This was compounded by further heavy rainfall over the days which followed.

Since that time Reading Borough Council has successfully bid for a number of funding opportunities for local flood alleviation works. So far, these have included the included installation of a new flood water attenuation tank in the Vernon Crescent open green area, extensive ditch improvement works along the A33, the installation of The Cowsey flood attenuation basin, the Property Flood Level Protection scheme in Kingsley Close and other minor flood reduction works in Merrivale and Templeton Gardens.

Harness Close residents will be the latest beneficiaries, after the Council was awarded £33,000 as part of the Environment Agency’s Local Levy funding scheme. The Council will be match funding the scheme from revenue funding allocated to works to reduce flood risk in Reading.

Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“Many residents in South Reading will clearly recollect the intense rainfall of July 2007, particularly those whose homes were affected. The Council has carried out a number of flood alleviation schemes across Whitley over the last few years and the work due to begin in Harness Close next week is the latest of those schemes.

“The rainfall of July 2007 was an exceptional event and whilst nobody can guarantee properties will not be affected in the future, hopefully the works carried out by the Council over the last few years will bring a level of reassurance to local residents in the Whitley area.”

Advance notice boards are going up in the Harness Close area this week and letters have been delivered to local residents advising them of the work. Working hours will be between 08.00 - 18.00 hrs daily, excluding weekends.