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Norfolk flood defence improvement plans

PUBLISHED: 14:19 27 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:02 01 August 2010

Emily Dennis

Plans for flood defence improvements at Geldeston marshes have been submitted to the Broads Authority as part of a long-term, 20-year programme of works.

Plans for flood defence improvements at Geldeston marshes have been submitted to the Broads Authority as part of a long-term, 20-year programme of works.

The proposed improvements form part of the Broadland Flood Alleviation Project (BFAP) and would be carried out by Broadland Environmental Services Limited (BESL) on behalf of the Environment Agency.

The works would take place on the left bank of the River Waveney and Geldeston Dyke between Geldeston and Dunburgh.

They would include strengthening and setback of flood banks and excavation of soke dykes with erosion protection and a temporary site compound and engineering work.

According to documents submitted to the Broads Authority, the area forms part of the BFAP and the first phase of improvement works in the area was completed in 2007/08 along the Dockeney Wall. The remaining defences, which are the subject of the planning application, run along Geldeston Dyke and the River Waveney downstream to Dunburgh.

BESL says the scheme is needed because: “The standard of protection provided by flood banks along the Broadland rivers is continually reducing because of settlement, deterioration over time, insufficient maintenance in the past and sea level rise.

“This makes the banks more vulnerable to erosion and at risk of breaching at times of high level flood events. Such breaches can case widespread uncontrolled flooding which can have serious implications for the quality of the grazing and the value of the land for wildlife.”

BESL adds: “The flood defences directly protect agricultural grazing marsh including the Geldeston Meadows Site of Special Scientific Interest. Furthermore the marshes lie within the Broads Authority Executive area, part of a nationally important landscape that is valuable for wildlife, agriculture, cultural heritage, the local economy and people's recreational enjoyment of the area.”

BESL says that if planning permission is granted it is anticipated that the flood defence improvement works will start in Spring 2010 and be completed by the end of the year.

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