The Environment Agency has successfully delivered an essential flood defence scheme in Teesside, to the relief of residents and business owners alike.
At a cost of £16 million, the Teesside scheme has shored up flood protection in Port Clarence from both the River Tees and Greatham Creek, while an entirely new wildlife habitat equivalent to over 90 football pitches has been built.
Having partnered with RSPB and Natural England, the Environment Agency has attempted to creat a habitat that maximises benefit to rare birds and seals. Taking into account past flood defence works in Port Clarence, flood risk has also been reduced to 350 households and 32 local businesses.
According to Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey: “When I visited Teesside in 2017 I was able to speak with the local industry representatives, the Environment Agency and the RSPB about the plans for this new flood defence scheme.
“I am delighted it is now open, better protecting hundreds of homes and businesses, helping the local economy and enhancing the natural environment by creating an important new habitat for wildlife and birds.
“This £16 million scheme forms part of the government’s commitment to better protect 300,000 thousand homes from flooding. We are investing over £2.3 billion across the country – boosting our resilience as a nation, helping our communities to grow and prosper.”
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, added: “Floods destroy lives and livelihoods. This project is a perfect example of how flood schemes can benefit everyone: communities, businesses and wildlife. We have worked closely with our partners to design a scheme which will provide better flood protection for years to come whilst also helping bird and seal populations to thrive.
“This forms part of our commitment to invest over £75 million on flood defences across the North East of England between 2015 and 2021, better protecting thousands of homes and businesses.”
Phase I saw the creation of new flood defences in Port Clarence to reduce flood risk from the River Tees, which ended in December 2015. During Phase II, the Environment Agency raised existing flood embankments along Greatham Creek to further reduce flood risk to Port Clarence and land south of the creek.
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