Work is to begin on a £6million scheme to reduce the risk of flooding in part of North Tyneside.
Northumbrian Water, North Tyneside Council and the Environment Agency are to work in partnership to tackle flooding in Killingworth and Longbenton.
The work – to begin on Monday, July 25, and take up to nine months to complete – will reduce the amount of surface water that enters the sewer network. Instead, heavy rainfall will be stored in the natural environment.
Water from Killingworth Lake and Longbenton Letch, which currently flows into Northumbrian Water’s sewer network, is to be diverted.
The route of Longbenton Letch will be diverted from the sewer network, near Goathland Avenue, into a new 700metre underground surface water pipe, transferring it to Forest Hall Letch.
Wetland areas will be created along sections of Forest Hall Letch, to provide somewhere for water to go when flows in the watercourse are high.
To prevent Killingworth Lake from overflowing into Northumbrian Water’s sewer network, its surface water area will be increased and water will be transferred by another new underground 340 metre surface water pipe into West Moor Tributary.
Northumbrian Water’s project manager, Lynn Preston, said: “The first phase of work will involve constructing the new surface water pipe to link Longbenton Letch to Forest Hall Letch.
“We will need to work along the boundary of Benton Cemetery and in the grounds of Benton Dene School and Longbenton Community College.
“Work at the college and school is being carried out in the summer holidays to minimise disruption and coincide with other construction work being done at the school.
“We will not be working near any graves in the cemetery and will suspend work as a mark of respect during any services.
“I would like to reassure residents that we will do all we can to reduce any disruption and inconvenience and will continue to work closely with the school, college and cemetery.”
A new surface water storage basin will be constructed in the playing field of Longbenton Community College to store water in times of heavy rainfall and provide an additional facility as an outdoor amphitheatre when it is dry.
The college’s sporting facilities will also be improved by the creation of five drained football pitches and an outdoor running track.
Coun John Harrison, North Tyneside Council’s cabinet member for housing and transport, said: “It is really positive news that the first phase of this project will be getting underway shortly.
“This important work will provide peace of mind by greatly lowering the likelihood of flooding affecting homes and businesses in the area and has the added bonus of not only improving local sporting facilities but also enhancing the surrounding environment.
“We are continuing to work closely with Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency to minimise disruption to the local community as much as possible and we would like to thank the public for their patience in advance of these works.”
Richard Robinson, Flood Risk Advisor for the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “This is a great example of how organisations can work together to develop sustainable solutions to reduce flood risk.
“By using natural features we aim to enhance the environment and offer amenity features while also reducing pressure on the drainage systems and reducing the risk of flooding to many properties.”
Residents in the area will be keep up-to-date on progress of work and can find out more detailed information by logging onto a community portal www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk
For further information or advice call Northumbrian Water on 0345 717 1100.