Risk of flooding to be reduced for Leighton homes

The work will safeguard flood-risk homes on Carina Drive
The work will safeguard flood-risk homes on Carina Drive

Dozensof flood-risk homes in Leighton Buzzard are to be safeguarded by a new bank under construction along Clipstone Brook.

The £65,000 project– which has been bankrolled by the Environment Agency and Central Beds Council – comes after years of worry that 29 properties on Carina Drive are positioned precariously close to Clipstone Brook.

It last burst its banks in January 2003 and as things currently stand there is the probablity that homes on Carina Drive will be flooded once every 25 years.

However works now being undertaken by the Environment Agency will reduce that risk to one in 100.

The project, which is expected to take five weeks to complete, will see the brook channel widened and a section of ground will be lowered to redirect floodwater away from Carina Drive.

A small flood bank will also be built to defend homes.

Andrew Selous MP, councillor Brian Spurr and Environment Agency risk manager Paul Burrows broke ground on the project on Friday.

Cllr Spurr said: “The works planned are a significant achievement and a testimony to the hard work and commitment of all involved to find an affordable project for the town.

“This kind of partnership approach between authorities is an important way to reduce flood risk to local communities.”

Mr Selous added: “Last year there was awful flooding and luckily in Bedfordshire we got off lightly, but the effects can be devastating.

“Along with this I really hope that home insurance quotes here will be lower in the future, due to the lower possibilty of flooding.”

The worst Clipstone Brook flooding in recent years dates back to September 1992, when 43 homes across Leighton were deluged with water.

Carina Drive resident Paul Stevenson welcomed the works. He told the LBO: “It was only a matter of time before it flooded again so I am pleased.

“I haven’t lived here long but the lady next door has seen it come right to the top of the banks.”

Town councillor Mike Bishop added: “As the ward councillor I became aware soon after my election that Anglian Water had abandoned their plan to build a balancing tank upstream of the Planets estate.

“This long-promised scheme was intended to protect residents from incidences of flooding that they had suffered in the past.

“Since then I have corresponded with and met representatives from Anglian Water and am pleased that they are now implementing this scheme which will give residents peace of mind and should help reduce the insurance premiums of those most at risk.”