£20 million renovation of Hull flood defences

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The Environment Agency is planning a major programme to improve flood defences in and around Hull.

The scheme will see an investment of more than £20 million in renovated and new defences along sections of the north bank of the Humber and the River Hull.
Refurbishment is needed to maintain standards of protection both now and in the future.

John Pygott, project executive for the Environment Agency, said: “This work takes climate change predictions into account and seeks to provide a robust standard of protection for many decades to come.

“This will be a complex, long-term commitment. We are carrying out detailed studies to find the most comprehensive solutions and establish best value for the taxpayer.”

The Environment Agency is working closely with Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and major landowners including Associated British Ports.
It is looking to work in partnership with developers, private business and other interested parties and is actively seeking external financial contributions.

Dr Pygott added: “Funding partnerships are key. Through working with the wider community we can promote works which support regeneration in Hull and East Yorkshire and bring about real improvements to people’s living and working environments.”

Steve Wragg, Flood Risk Planning Manager at Hull City Council said: “Our city benefits greatly from its flood defences along the Rivers Hull and Humber. Any proposed works to ensure these defences operate effectively now, and with the future effects of climate change, are essential. We will continue to work closely with the Environment Agency on these schemes.”

Councillor Chris Matthews, cabinet portfolio holder for infrastructure, highways and emergency planning at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The council takes the issue of flooding very seriously, whether it be from tidal, river, groundwater or surface, and continues to work closely with our partners, including the Environment Agency, to reduce the risk and provide our residents with a bit more peace of mind.”

The stretches being investigated include around nine kilometres of the River Hull, from its confluence with the Humber to the city boundary, and on the estuary frontage from Hessle to just downstream of Paull. Investment in the improvements is likely to span over a period of eight to ten years, after the plans have been drawn up and agreed by Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council. The need for more urgent works will be under constant review in the short-term.

The works form part of the Environment Agency’s wider Humber Strategy, its long-term plan for managing flood risk from the Humber Estuary in the light of climate change and a forecast rise in sea levels. The strategy seeks to safeguard the Humber’s communities and economy through managing flood defences, and providing effective flood warning systems, and via linkages with new private development projects.

Work on the defences is expected to start in 2014, and will involve both localised small-scale repairs, and larger projects to both raise the height of lengths of defence and to improve their condition.

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