THE chances of 54 homes and a railway line being submerged under floodwater have been significantly reduced thanks to a £300,000 scheme.
The News and Havant MP Alan Mak were given an exclusive tour of the work on farmland to the north of the A27 between Havant and Emsworth.
It comes after years of campaigning by residents in Emsworth following several floods, including Christmas 2012 when several homes in Selangor Avenue were swamped.
Engineers from the Environment Agency have designed a simple but effective water storage system at Nore Farm.
The first part of the scheme was to reduce the size of the culvert – a pipe – that runs under the A27.
It was 1.2m wide – which let through large volumes of fast-flowing water – but that channel has now been reduced to 12.5cm-wide.
The natural undulations on the farmland will act as a water storage area during storms.
Embankments have been built up along the Nore Farm stream to stop flooding on the nearby railway line.
It has been separated from the West Brook – another nearby watercourse – and this has reduced the flood risk in Bridge Road, Emsworth.
Field operations team leader Gareth Bates said: ‘We are holding the water back here where it is just going to flood some farmland temporarily.
‘The water sits here and gradually feeds it through, so you don’t get these tidal waves of water when it rains heavily.’
Mr Mak said: ‘The flood alleviation scheme is good news for Emsworth, giving residents and businesses more protection. I enjoyed seeing the flood defences first hand, and congratulate our local councillors, community groups and the Environment Agency for their hard work.’
He said he would be lobbying for continued investment.
The scheme was designed by engineer Asad Abbas and came under budget, meaning £200,000 of the £500,000 could be given back to Defra.