The second phase of a £6 million scheme to reduce flood risk in North Tyneside is to begin in April 2017.

The work will reduce the amount of surface water that enters Northumbrian Water’s sewer network in times of heavy rainfall; this water will instead be stored in the natural environment.

Northumbrian Water, North Tyneside Council and the Environment Agency began the joint surface water management scheme in Killingworth and Longbenton last July. Phase one of the project, which was completed in December 2016, involved constructing a new surface water pipe to divert Longbenton Letch watercourse out of the sewer network and transfer the watercourse into Forest Hall Letch. Phase two of the scheme now needs to be completed, before the diversion can be implemented.

Phase two will start in April 2017 and is due to be completed by the end of October 2017. The work will see the construction of three surface water storage areas near to Killingworth Moor with flow control devices installed to help manage future flows along Longbenton Letch and Forest Hall Letch. These surface water storage areas are designed to hold back excess water from the watercourse during periods of heavy rainfall and create the space in Forest Hall Letch to allow flows from Longbenton Letch to join the watercourse.

Northumbrian Water’s partner, ESH-MWH will carry out the work and there will be two site compounds; one will be situated off Great Lime Road and will be accessed via the Forest Gate junction. The second compound will be accessed via Killingworth Road.

A customer drop-in session has been arranged for Thursday, April 20 at the Palmersville Pavillion, Palm Court, Great Lime Street between 2.00pm and 6.00pm so residents in the area can come along and find out more about the scheme.

Lynn Preston, Northumbrian Water’s project manager said: “Through this partnership scheme we demonstrate our commitment to reduce the risk of flooding in a cost effective and sustainable way, while benefitting local communities and enhancing the environment.

“We are working with our partner, ESH-MWH, to make sure any disruption is kept to a minimum during the course of the work and our community portal will be regularly updated for customers to keep track of the project.

“We hope residents can come along on Thursday, April 20 to see our plans and find out more about the work we are doing.”

Colin Macdonald, Senior Manager, Technical and Regulatory Services, North Tyneside Council, said: “Reducing the risk of flooding to homes and businesses is one of the council’s top priorities. This project will make a real difference to communities at risk of flooding and is a great example of what can be achieved by working closely with our partners at Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency.”

Richard Robinson, Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Risk Management Adviser, said: “Working with the other organisations has allowed a collaborative project which manages the risk of flooding from multiple sources and improves the local environment.

“We’ve already made excellent progress on the scheme and phase two will begin imminently. We fully understand the devastating impact flooding has on communities and this is a great example of how organisations can work together to develop sustainable solutions to reduce flood risk and protect communities.”

During the work local residents may see an increase in traffic including large construction vehicles. Our normal working hours will be Monday to Friday, 8.00am till 6.00pm.

All residents can keep up-to-date on the progress of work and find out more detailed information by logging onto our community portal and follow the link to the Killingworth page. For any further information or advice call Northumbrian Water on 0345 717 1100.