Cost of Hambledon floods estimated at £5m

The flooding in Hambledon is likely to get even worse with the recent heavy rain and more is forecasted !''Hard walk to get a pub lunch!
The flooding in Hambledon is likely to get even worse with the recent heavy rain and more is forecasted !''Hard walk to get a pub lunch!

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The cost of floods in Hambledon is estimated to have hit £5m.

But solving the problem would cost £3.5m by installing a 1m-wide underground pipe beneath the village’s main road.

Tony Higham, chairman of Hambledon Flood Action Group, said it was a ‘financial no-brainer’ that action was needed immediately with the prospect of more floods in future years.

He said: ‘This is day 32 of our current crisis. It will probably cost in the order of £5m.

‘Many days we have had more than 50 people from various agencies working here. It’s probably about £250,000 the damage to properties and there’s the chance of more properties being damaged.’

Seven weeks ago, villagers were given the devastating news that Hampshire County Council’s bid for £3.5m of funding from the Environment Agency was unlikely to be included in the agency’s next round of flood schemes.

This is despite Hambledon being the number one flood-risk area in the county.

But councillor Roy Perry, Hampshire’s leader, is hoping the government will have a change of heart and this week spoke to local government minister Brandon Lewis.

He said: ‘I told the minister I was truly impressed by the tremendous community response in Hambledon where 150 properties are at risk. Hampshire County Council teams have helped the local community round the clock over the past three weeks – with 20,000 sandbags delivered and 100 pumps on site.

‘I have written to the Environment Agency last week, setting out the need for a main drainage pipe under the main road in Hambledon,

‘Previously we have been told the scheme would not rank highly against other priorities of the Environment Agency. This is not good enough. Hambledon needs a proper drain and it needs it before next winter. Almost every house in that village has been impacted by the flooding. It’s time for a positive response from the Environment Agency on this and I will keep up my pressure to see Hambledon does not face another winter like this.’

The government is expected to announce today which flood schemes in the country will get funding.