Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has been awarded a £12.4m grant by the Environment Agency to build new flood defence infrastructure in Poole.
BCP Council’s funding bid was submitted to the Environment Agency in September 2020 for Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) for tidal flood defences along approximately 1.5km of waterfront at Back Water Channel.
It will also protect parts of Poole’s town centre, the Old Town and new developments in the Twin Sails regeneration area, which is an important area for future investment for the council from flood risk for the next 100 years.
The value of potential damages calculated in the scheme area in a ‘do nothing’ scenario over the next century is £161 million and at the moment, the remaining undefended water frontage relies on emergency temporary flood defences.
Working in conjunction with landowners, developers, the Environment Agency, Poole Harbour Commissioners and other relevant organisations, these plans will complete the provision of permanent flood defences in the area.
The flood defences are adjacent to Poole Harbour, which has a range of protected special designations to which careful environmental considerations will be given, including Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment screening, which will take place as part of pre-work planning.
Commenting, BCP Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing and Waste, Councillor Mark Anderson said: “The ongoing regeneration of the Twin Sails area was expected to include delivery of the required flood defences to protect the wider flood risk area within Poole town centre, the Old Town and new developments.
“To date, however, the envisaged regeneration has not fully materialised and recent developments have only included flood defences along discrete lengths, leaving gaps in the defence line.
"There is a significant flood risk both now and with the impacts of predicted sea level rise, so it is excellent news that we have been granted funding, enabling this essential infrastructure to go ahead.”
BCP Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning and Deputy Leader, Councillor Philip Broadhead added: “This flood defence scheme is a positive step forward and will support future plans for the Twin Sails regeneration area, helping to unlock brownfield land for redevelopment along West Quay Road.
“Last year, BCP Council also completed the purchase of the largest brownfield regeneration site in the South-West on the Hamworthy side of the Back Water Channel.
"With permanent flood defences on both sides of the channel, we can confidently progress with our ambitious redevelopment plans and unlock opportunities to create new homes, jobs and commercial opportunities.’’