Politicians meet to discuss flood prevention work
Councillors are being asked to unlock £3 million of Government funding to pave the way for vital flood prevention work in Bath.
Politicians meet tomorrow night to discuss tapping into a £56.7 million fund to enable a storm water storage area to be created to the east of the city.
This in turn would allow development said to be worth up to £325 million to take place on sensitive areas along the River Avon in the city centre which would otherwise by blighted by the risk of flood.
There is controversy over where the storage area might be sited - with opposition to the possible use of Kensington Meadows, while aspects of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s flood mitigation strategy have also been questioned by the independent inspector looking at the authority’s long-term planning blueprint.
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The £3 million would come from the Revolving Infrastructure Fund set up by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership to promote economic growth in the region.
The fund will loan money to pump-prime schemes, with the repayments from authorities such as B&NES keeping it topped up.
Most of the fund money has in turn come from the Government’s £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund, which has this week been at the centre of MPs’ concern over delays in projects dependant on it coming to fruition.
The council has insisted that work to open up sites such as the old Newark Works has to go on despite the fact that it has been sent back to the drawing board over key parts of its Core Strategy blueprint.
It has also identified possible storage sites in Batheaston and Bathampton and said: “Technical work is currently being undertaken on the options for a flood mitigation scheme. No preferred option has been identified.”