Proposed £5m flood guard scheme would see the Ouseburn diverted

A £5m project will protect Newcastle homes from floods by diverting excess water from the Ouseburn

Ouseburn breaks its banks on Whitebridge Park
Ouseburn breaks its banks on Whitebridge Park

A flood defence scheme would see a river diverted to protect city homes.

Under the proposed £5.5m flood protection plans, a 400m long channel will be created for the Ouseburn to flow away from the Brunton Park area of Newcastle.

Its former course will be used to capture and store surface storm water, while two kilometres of new sewer pipes will be laid on the estate and an underground storage tank, complete with pumps, will be installed next to the neighbourhood’s green to further help to protect homes.

It is hoped that the multi-agency project, led by Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency in partnership with Newcastle City Council, will start in the autumn and is expected to take about a year to complete.

Residents can find out more about the planned scheme at a drop-in session at St Aidan’s Church, Polwarth Drive, Brunton Park, between 3pm and 7pm today.

Up to 100 homes have been identified as being at risk of flooding in the area from the Ouseburn and from the sewer and surface water drainage networks.

The new river channel will flow through the edge of the City of Newcastle Golf Course. A professional golf course designer has planned temporary adjustments and a permanent solution to create an improved course on completion of the work.

Homes will be further protected by a flood defence wall, less than three feet in height, and an embankment alongside parts of the new Ouseburn channel. In addition to flood protection, the scheme will also create increased wetland habitat for nature, and archaeologists are also being engaged to safeguard any historical areas that might be uncovered.

Northumbrian Water waste water director Richard Warneford said: “Northumbrian Water appreciates how devastating and distressing flooding is and we are determined to do all we can to help prevent it.

“This unusual and sustainable solution is a great example of what can be achieved when partners work together bringing their knowledge, innovation, funding and energy to create a scheme which will be a great help in protecting homes in the area.”

Phil Welton, flood and coastal risk manager in the North East, for the Environment Agency said: “We are really pleased to be working with Northumbrian Water and Newcastle City Council on this important flood alleviation scheme. The new river channel and flood wall will provide vital protection to homes in Brunton Park, and the scheme will also benefit wildlife with an increased wetland habitat.”

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