Flood defences help Wallington avoid repeat of drama

DEFENCES Sandbags by the river wall in Wallington in December last year. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (124150-3)
DEFENCES Sandbags by the river wall in Wallington in December last year. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124150-3)

Portsmouth coastguard called to reports of a body near Chichester

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AS WIND and rain battered the county many areas reported flooding.

One village that escaped the devastating floodwater was Wallington, which with its flood defences costing around £4,570 per property, managed to stay dry.

One year ago, a severe flood warning was issued to Wallington, near Fareham, by the Environment Agency.

Villagers had to be evacuated as the River Wallington rose to dangerous levels and much of the centre was under knee-high dirty floodwater.

Cracks appeared in the North Wallington Road wall due to the pressure of the water, putting the community further at risk.

Since then work has been completed to reinforce the flood wall and the Environment Agency has put together a long -term plan involving all of the existing defences and announced further strengthening work to take place in the New Year.

David Walton, Wallington village flood co-ordinator, said: ‘Wallington Village Community Association is extremely grateful, not just for the ongoing work to repair and strengthen the flood defence wall that was damaged last year, but also the wider efforts being made to reduce the flood risk to the village.

‘The latter involves both tidal and fluvial issues, including a major new development that is planned for upstream of the village and raises a number of complicated issues which we appreciate will take time to resolve.’

Mike O’Neill, of the Environment Agency, said: ‘It is great news that a year on from the severe flood warning in Wallington we can confirm that we have significantly reduced the flood risk in the village.

‘It’s also pleasing to be able to announce further work to reinforce this important flood defence wall.’

Following a consultation, an option was developed which could be brought in on the river side of the wall.

This will see steel columns and timber board put in at two-metre intervals connected to the new reinforced concrete base of the wall.

This reduces the water pressure on the brick wall with limited visual impact on the conservation area as well as preventing narrowing of the road.

The second phase of this project will start in the second week of January and will be completed in early February.