Chard and Ilminster flood schemes to get funded

Flood alleviation schemes in Chard, Ilminster and Wiliton are to get Government funding. Although the exact funding per project has not been announced, 52 projects will share a total of £26m between them.

The funding has been awarded to communities where 10 or more properties have flooded twice or more in the last 10 years. These smaller communities can often face barriers to access funding. This is usually due to the relative complexity and cost of building flood defences compared to the size of the community.  

The various projects will improve resilience through a mixture of measures. These will include both hard engineering flood defences and natural flood management measures. The allowance also supports the installation of property flood resilience (PFR) measures. Items such as flood doors and barriers, mean more homes will be better protected. This will be especially welcome in communities where traditional defence schemes are not always viable.

Flash floods in Chard in 2021 affected more than 100 properties. Frustrated by a lack of action by their local councils, a group of residen ts formed the Chard Area Resilience Group. Following the floods Somerset County Council said it would look at the new government funding for flood alleviation schemes. It promised to work with the Environment Agency to identify the priority areas for investment. Today’s announcement of a government award for Chard is to implement a flood alleviation scheme.

Ilminster was hit by severe flooding in 2012 and a number of homes were inundated during torrential rain in October 2021. The award here is for a study to look at potential flood alleviation schemes.

Wlliton is to receive funds for a flood alleviation study. Wlliton suffered severe flooding in 2012 but roads around the community have often been cut by flood waters, most recently the A39 this January.

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