Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “We’ve successfully leveraged national funding for a number of major flood alleviation schemes since Hampshire endured flooding in the winter of 2014, with schemes delivered in Winchester, Romsey, and Basingstoke. These improvements reduce the risk of flooding for whole communities as well as individual householders, giving them peace of mind. However, there are areas which are susceptible to flooding but are not densely populated which means they do not meet criteria for national funding – yet the same distress and hardship is felt by those whose homes are flooded.
“I’m pleased we’re able to support this pilot project led by the Environment Agency to better protect those properties that remain at risk; and that we will continue to explore the potential for sustainable ways to finance property flood protection measures in the long term which will include contributions from insurers and property owners. We know from our work on our Local Flood and Water Management and Climate Change strategies that there is an increased risk of flooding in Hampshire which highlights the need to improve resilience in our communities to future severe weather events.”
Hampshire County Council’s contribution of £210,000 from the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management programme will be made over a two year period towards the proposed Environment Agency’s ‘Hampshire Property Flood Resilience Pilot Programme’ subject to confirmation of the availability of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Grant in Aid, Southern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee Local levy and partnership contributions.
David Martin, Flood Risk Team Leader at the Environment Agency said: “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Hampshire County Council on our Hampshire Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Initiative. The pilot is set up to help those people whose homes are at risk of flooding but are in locations that would not benefit from larger flood risk schemes.
“We will be spending £780,000 to better protect people’s homes from flooding across Hampshire. Initially we are aiming to help around 30 homes a year for the next 6 years.
“While the Environment Agency is doing everything we can to prepare for the winter, the climate emergency means that we are experiencing more extreme wet weather than ever before. We’re urging everyone to check whether they live in an area at risk from flooding and know the simple steps to remain prepared. Please sign up to receive flood warnings by visiting www.gov.uk or call 0345 988 1188”