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Major project to beat the floods in Marlow

PUBLISHED: 16:46 16 March 2015 | UPDATED: 16:46 16 March 2015

The swirling Thames waters last winter. Photo: Maureen McLean

The swirling Thames waters last winter. Photo: Maureen McLean

MAUREEN MCLEAN

Here’s something none us wants to see this year: sandbags and emergency workers dealing with the aftermath of the devastation caused by flooding. In June work will start on a flood alleviation scheme in Marlow, to protect homes in the Pound Lane and Firview areas.

Parts of the town were left under several feet of water last year and since the clear-up a consortium of councils and the Environment Agency has been working to avoid another disaster.

There’s always a price tag, though, and funding has been an issue. Now it’s been confirmed that nearly half of the £8.5 million needed is to come from the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee Local Levy, a fund supported by councils in the Thames Valley.

With money already promised (Buckinghamshire County Council has given £1.25m, the Government is contributing £3.25m and Marlow Town Council £60,000) and officer time and expertise from Wycombe District Council, the project can begin.

Led by the Environment Agency (EA), it will involve building protective earth embankments, excavating flood attenuation ponds, and installing heavy-duty pumps to control surface water levels between homes and the River Thames.

But it’s not an easy fix – the work will take around five years and along the way involve quite a bit of digging and some road closures. There will also be archaeological recording, so perhaps a silver lining of all this is that we will learn more of the history of this corner of Marlow.

***

READ ON

The wonderful flood heroes of Buckinghamshire - If there was one silver lining to come out of the despair as the floods wreaked havoc across the county, it was that community spirit was alive and well.

How the people of Wraysbury united to fight the floods - It’s impossible to record all the selfless acts and kindess, but here Jan Raycroft tells the extraordinary story of Wraysbury.

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