Environment Agency will pay final £1.4m to fix Hambledon flooding

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THE final part of funding has been secured to fix flooding in Hambledon.

The Environment Agency revealed yesterday that it will pay the final £1.4m of a £4.3m scheme to help solve flooding problems in the village.

(l-r) Hambledon residents Tony Higham and Neil Mason ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142863-1529)

(l-r) Hambledon residents Tony Higham and Neil Mason ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142863-1529)

The announcement came as a consultation was held outlining the plans for the project.

Tony Higham, chairman of the Hambledon Flood Action Group, said it was news that had been eagerly awaited.

‘We had two-thirds of the money which was funded by Hampshire County Council so this is the breakthrough we were waiting for,’ he said.

As previously reported by The News, the county council approved the scheme that will see a large pipe built under the village’s main road to take groundwater and rainwater away.

The work was agreed despite the council needing the extra £1.4m for the second phase of the project but, now the Environment Agency has agreed it, there is security that the scheme will be finished.

Councillor Rob Humby, leader of Winchester City Council, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that the Environment Agency 
has agreed to pay the last £1.4m.

‘This means it will be completed in full.’

The work for the project will be in two stages – the first of which started earlier this year.

It will see improvements made to the outfall and network of drainage ditches downstream of the village.

The second phase of the plans will start early next year and provide new, large floodwater culverts beneath West Street and East Street.

The whole project is set to be complete some time in 2016.

Muriel Heath, 83, and her husband Eric, 75, said the plans looked promising and that they would be keeping their fingers crossed that it works.

Mrs Heath said: ‘I am glad that something is being done and the plans look okay.

‘But I am hoping that it doesn’t flood again for years.’

MP praises campaigners as funding is agreed

MEON Valley MP George Hollingbery has praised campaigners who have worked hard to address flooding in Hambledon.

He said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that the tremendous efforts of Tony Higham, his team of campaigners and the people of Hambledon has ensured that the funding is now forthcoming for this scheme.

‘I would particularly like to acknowledge the fantastic work of Hampshire County Council as well as the work of council leader Roy Perry and the transport cabinet member Sean Woodward.

‘Their dedication has undoubtedly helped unlock these government funds.’