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Monday 12 December Formal opening of the Horsbere Brook flood alleviation scheme.

The Environment Agency held a formal opening ceremony of the flood alleviation scheme today, with Richard Benyon MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries performing the official opening. Kelly, Jesse and Peter where present from the committee to express thanks on behalf of all the residents to all agencies and persons involved in delivering this flood protection scheme for our homes.

Kelly: "On behalf of the committee and all of the residents that were affected in the summer of 2007 I would like to say an enormous thank you to all of the organisations that have come together to see our flood defence system become a reality. I am absolutely thrilled that, depsote the current economic climate, our flood risk status has been lifted and I hope that we will all be able to rest in our beds a little easier on a rainy night."

To see more photos of the balancing ponds see the alleviation scheme photo page.

Richard Benyon MP Jesse and Kelly
The flood committee cannot be held responsible for the content of advertised sites.


Wednesday 7 December The Horsbere Brook flood alleviation scheme is now complete!

After a summer of work the Environment Agency have completed the storage ponds for the Horsbere Brook reducing the flood risk to Longlevens, Longford, Elmbridge, Hucclecote and Brockworth. To mark this major achievement residents have been invited to the opening ceremony on Monday the 12th of December at 10:00am (note this is updated from the time listed in the EA news letter).

Below is a reproduction of the latest Environment Agency news letter.

The Horsbere Brook flood alleviation scheme is now complete. The scheme is operational and reduces flood risk downstream in Gloucester to over 350 homes. We have now started preparing the flood storage area for seeding, tree planting and fencing to create a 50 acre environmental amenity area.

Flooding from the Horsbere Brook
In June 2007 approximately 100 properties in the Longlevens area, predominantly in Cypress Gardens, were flooded. Some properties reported to have flooded to a depth of over one metre.

Then again on Friday 20 July areas of Longford, Longlevens, Elmbridge, Hucclecote and Brockworth experienced flooding from the Horsbere Brook. In total some 300 properties were affected.

Flooding of this area is frequent and potentially severe when the river breaks out of its banks. This happened at least three times in 2008, requiring over-pumping by the fire service to avert flooding.

The completed flood risk management scheme
The completed scheme provides a flood storage area to the east of the A417/A40 at Barnwood, which provides capacity to store over 170,000 cubic metres of water, In normal conditions the vast majority of it will be empty, but when flowsincrease above the capacity of the flow control structure water will spill into the flood storage area. It will remain there until river flows have reduced.

The flood storage area has been created by excavating approximately 120,000 cubic metres of earth.

The majority of this earth has been used to profile the existing hillside to the North and the South to create a natural looking landscape.

The best of the quality clay, which was excavated to create the flood storage area, was then used to form a flood embankment along the Western edge of the site. This provides further flood protection to the A40 carriageway, residential areas and businesses to the West.

The availability of good quality soil within the site, and the detailed planning and design of the scheme, allowed the reuse of this material and kept the construction costs down.

A control structure located in the brook takes the form of a bridge/culvert over the brook and acts to throttle flow in the river at times of high flow. The size of this throttle has been carefully determined. This is to ensure the flow that passes downstream does not exceed the capacity of the brook during floods on a similar scale to that of July 2007. The flow control structure causes water to back up in the brook upstream, overtop the right bank and flow into the new flood storage area.

What protection it will offer?
The scheme is designed to provide protection from flooding with a 1 in 100 chance of occurring in this location in any one year (1 per cent chance) plus an allowance for climate change (20 per cent increase in flows).

Additional benefits
We are working with our partners, including Gloucester City Council, to plan landscaping that will provide an environmental amenity area with over 15 hectares of biodiversity habitat.

The bowl of the flood storage area provides ponds which, with planting and over time, will establish. Wetlands will then form. The 20 hectare flood storage area has been designed to benefit the environment and the wider community. We aim to plant a community orchard, hazel coppice, native woodland, meadows and wet grassland. We hope to work with the City Council in the future to share maintenance of the flood alleviation structures and environmental amenity space.

Whats next?
We will be holding an official opening ceremony of the scheme on Monday 12 Decemeber 2011 at 10:00am to mark completion of works. Richard Benyon MP, and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries will perform the official opening. All are welcome to join us.

Toby Willis, project manager said: I am so pleased that we are now able to better manage flood risk to so many homes in Gloucester who suffered terribly in 2007, and who have been living with this worry ever since. I hope that residents are also able to make use of what will become a lovely environmental amenity area

Thursday 24 February The SOD cutting ceremony marks the start of work and was a success.

Kelly attended the SOD cutting ceremony yesterday and has reported back the following.

I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in the sod cutting ceremony yesterday, the official opening of the permanent flood defence work for the Horsbere brook. Despite the dire economic times we find ourselves in, our flood scheme is going ahead and should be completed by the end of August. The Environment Agency have purchased just over 49 acres of land to carry out the scheme and it will increase our flood risk level to 1:100 year probability which will take our area off the classification as a flood risk category. A fantastic achievement my thanks on behalf of the committee go out to the Environment Agency, county and city council and our local councilors for not giving up on this!

All invoiced at the SOD cutting ceremony Kathy Paul and Kelly Richard Laurance and Mark

Friday 18 February The Enivornment Agency have provided a map for the SOD cutting ceremony on the 23rd of February, click here to download it.

The Citizen would like to run a positive story on the start of the flood alleviation work and have requested to get a photo with as many residents as possible next to the brook. The planned time for this photo is Sunday the 20th of February at 10:00am and it should only take 5 minutes, please inform your immediate neighbours who may not be aware.

Friday 4 February EA invite local residents to the sod cutting ceremony. Note change in date and time!
The EA have extended an invite to local residents as well as members of the Flood Committee to the Horsbere brook flood alleviation scheme sod cutting ceremony. This commemorates the beginning of the construction of the scheme on the outskirts of Gloucester.

The short ceremony will take place at 3 pm on Wednesday, 23 February, and last for 45 minutes. A location map showing the meeting place for the event and the most convenient car park will be sent to attendees in the near future.

Please confirm if you would like to attend by Tuesday, 15 February 2011 to sarah.harcombe@environment-agency.gov.uk or contact Sarah on 07769 886125.

Thursday 6 January EA progress on flood defences.
The following information has been released by the Environment Agency relating to the progress being made on the flood defences.

The land purchase and planning approvals for the flood alleviation schemes for the Horsbere Brook were obtained before Christmas.
Tenders have since been received and we now expect to appoint a contractor to start the work in early February, but a specific date is not current set.

The Flood Committee are thrilled with the news, as we feared the worst with the cuts being made due to the financial climate but the funding for the scheme is safe and hopefully we can look forward to better flood protection in the near future.

We will keep you informed of progress as soon as we are aware of it.