Risk of flood will be ‘significantly reduced’ by River Roding works which are close to green light

The risk of homes and gardens being flooded, as happened in 2000 when the River Roding burst its banks, will be “significantly reduced” by a planned £3million scheme.

Gardens and ground floors of homes in Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, were submerged during the flood, which put 400 homes at risk and led to 40 evacuations across Redbridge.

Investigation work by the Environment Agency (EA) into how to prevent a repeat, has taken place ever since, with the river periodically placed on alert.

But preventative works are now edging closer to reality.

The EA’s project board has agreed to fund a final “feasibility study”, which will see if two pumping stations and a flood storage area would alleviate the problem of surface water entering the Roding.

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The study will include “all necessary surveys, site investigations, outline designs and consultations with residents” according to Redbridge Council’s deputy leader, Cllr Ian Bond, and will take the project up to the point at which construction can begin.

The EA’s decision was welcomed by Maria Johnson, 47, of Chigwell Road, who was marooned in her home in the 2000 flood.

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She said: “Our gardens were fully flooded and since then there have been a few scares.

“From my point of view, it felt like something had to be done and it must help considerably.”

The proposals would create an area to hold excess water when the river level is high east of Chigwell Road, near to the M11 bridge.

Pumps would be placed at Charlie Brown’s Roundabout in South Woodford and at Winn Brook, which runs next to the Broadmead playing fields, in Woodford Green.

They would pump out excess water running off the road.

Cllr Bond said: “[The scheme] is important.

“We’ve called for it for many years and we feel for residents that live along the river. There was a flood risk at Christmas and it gave them a very worrying holiday period.”

The study will cost £460,000, to be part-funded by Redbridge Council, and is due to be completed in February.

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