A project to reduce flood risks to homes in Leighton Buzzard has started, with work to clear vegetation on the banks of Clipstone Brook and the River Ouzel.
The project is a partnership between the Environment Agency and Central Bedfordshire Council which had been campaigning for the flood works to protect properties where the risk is the highest.
For the next six weeks, the council’s countryside access team will be on site cutting back grass and overhanging hawthorn trees to reduce obstructions in the brook. This will allow the water to flow more freely and will prepare the area for a second phase of flood alleviation works next year.
When complete, residents will also enjoy a ‘Riverside Walk’ which will form a green corridor from the centre of Leighton–Linslade to the open countryside.
Councillor Brian Spurr said: “The council has been pushing for this project to protect local homes from flooding for some time and I am glad that it is finally happening.
“This is an important initiative for the council and I would like to thank our team for delivering the project, working with the Environment Agency.”
The second phase of works led by the Environment Agency will begin February and last approximately six weeks, with teams working on the following:
> Widening the brook channel
> Clearing vegetation from the channel
> Lowering some ground on the Carina Drive side of the brook to redirect flood water away from homes
> Building a small flood bank on the Carina Drive side of the river.
As well as carrying out the preparatory works, at a cost of £50,000, Central Bedfordshire Council is providing half of the £90,000 that the phase two works are expected to cost, with the remainder coming from the Anglian Central Regional Flood and Coastal Committee’s Local Levy fund.