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Flood defences worth £20m brought forward

The Environment Agency has brought forward £20 million worth of flood defence projects from 2010/11 to 2009/10.

The final approval for the projects will be determined in February 2009, following the necessary feasibility studies and planning applications.

Schemes that have been given the provisional go-ahead to commence work in 2009/10 include:

• A comprehensive flood risk management plan for Sheffield, that will provide a number of options, such as upstream storage or changes to land management.

• In Deal, Kent, the improvement of sea defences will help protect against future sea level rise, which would otherwise lead to increasing flood damage in Deal by waves overtopping the seawall.

• The construction of two pumping stations and a replacement of a tidal sluice in the Barking and Dagenham area of London. These works will form part of the flood defences needed to reduce the risk from river and tidal flooding to the homes, businesses and vital infrastructure in the Thames Estuary.

Environment Agency chief executive Dr Paul Leinster said: “We welcome the Government’s commitment to increase total funding for flood risk management to £2.15 billion over the next three years.”