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Call to speed up work on Welney road flooding problem

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Officials have been urged to deliver more detailed costings for potential solutions to floods which can close a West Norfolk road for months at a time within weeks.

The call follows talks between politicians, business leaders, council and Environment Agency officials about how to solve the long-standing problem in Welney.

Documents published last month revealed Norfolk’s new strategic flooding alliance had been warned works prevent winter floods closing the A1101 could cost tens of millions of pounds.

From left, county councillor Chris Dawson, South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss and Elgoods Brewery boss Belinda Sutton (52273096)
From left, county councillor Chris Dawson, South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss and Elgoods Brewery boss Belinda Sutton (52273096)

They also predicted government support would be needed and the final cost would depend on the type of scheme and the level of resilience preferred.

But local representatives and traders say they want to secure a permanent solution to the problem.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss, who chaired a meeting at the village’s Lamb and Flag pub, said: “Everyone recognises that the causeway was designed to flood, however this is an ever increasing occurrence and we need to look to the long term and the implications this will have on local communities.

“I have therefore asked NCC and EA to work together, and consult with other key stakeholders to secure more cost projections/ BCR, with further feedback expected by Christmas.’

Chris Dawson, the village’s Norfolk County council representative, said local people would also be able to have their say soon.

He said: “With both our local MPs pushing hard, NCC colleagues working with those at Cambridgeshire County Council, and Lord Dannatt’s close attention, the platform is now set for our local communities to make their wishes heard.

“To this end we intend to hold local consultations in the very near future.”

Belinda Sutton, managing director of Elgoods Brewery, which owns the pub, welcomed the new intervention.

She said: “We have waited many years for the relevant parties to meet and discuss plans to reduce or preferably stop road closures as they have a huge impact on local businesses and residents.

“The meetings so far have been constructive and positive and we are hopeful an effective solution will be found in the near future.”

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