Major Hambledon flood initiative gathers momentum

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A SCHEME aimed at avoiding a repeat of last winter’s horrendous floods in Hambledon is moving forward.

The business case for the pipe that will run beneath the village’s main road has been approved by the local team from the Environment Agency and is now awaiting final approval at a national level.

The entire scheme will cost £3.8m, with Hampshire County Council providing £2.2m, Winchester City Council providing £100,000 and the rest from the Environment Agency.

County council engineers have started designing the pipe, which will be 1m wide.

The pipe will be surrounded by a thick protective layer of shingle, which will allow more water to flow underground.

Work is expected to start at the end of this year and will take 15 months.

The pipe will be completed in sections to minimise disruption.

Tony Higham, chairman of Hambledon Flood Action group, said: ‘Cellars will still need to be pumped and in very wet years we will be threatened again. But it will be a huge improvement, much closer to replicating the old pre-1944 ditch and should save many houses from flooding in the future.’