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£100m Lincolnshire Flood Defence Barrier Gets Go-Ahead

Over 14,000 properties affected. HM Treasury and Secretary of State Michael Gove have approved plans for Lincolnshire’s Boston Barrier flood defence project. 

The Environment Agency’s Boston Barrier, which will prevent tidal flooding from affecting over 14,000 properties, will feature a moveable fate across the Haven, as the River Witham is locally known, along with a control building to operate it, new flood protection walls on both banks, and a new gate to replace the one currently across the entrance to the Port of Boston wet dock. 

The £100m defence barrier will make Boston one of the best-fortified cities against flooding outside of the capital. The Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) has been approved by the Secretary of State, granting power to build and operate the barrier, and construction is scheduled to begin in the New Year. 

Thérèse Coffey, the Environment Minister, said that the approval was great news for the 14,000 people who owned homes or businesses that will now enjoy stronger defense against flooding.

The new protections will also benefit the wider area by helping to attract investment. The Boston Barrier is one of many flood schemes in progress in Lincolnshire and £229 million is being invested to better protect communities in the county. 

Tidal flood defence barrier

Tidal flooding has been a longstanding problem in Boston. The town experienced a serious flood in 1953, 1978, and, more recently, on December 5, 2013, when a tidal surge breached the existing defences. Boston was seriously affected, with 800 properties scattered across 55 streets experiencing extensive flood damage. 

Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd said that the flood defence barrier is a positive example of collaborative work between the Environment Agency, businesses, councils, and the local community. She applauded the fact that over 14,000 homes and businesses would be protected from the type of flooding that affected Boston in December 2013. She said she looked forward to the finished scheme and confirmed that the the project contract had been awarded to joint venture. Bam Nuttall and Mott MacDonald. 

Allan Rogers, Bam Nuttall and Mott MacDonald Framework Director, said that his group was looking forward to delivering the scheme. He pointed out that BMMJV had a successful track record in such projects, having recently completed phase one of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme. 

The Environment Agency is investing £2.5 billion across the UK, with a goal of building 1,500 flood defences by 2021, so that over 300,000 homes can rely on better flood protection. 

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