Have your say on flood plans

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Residents are being invited to find out more about planned Houghton Regis Flood Alleviation Scheme next week.

On Wednesday 13 December the Environment Agency is holding a public drop-in to share its plans to reduce flooding in Luton by building a flood storage area on land at Houghton Regis.

The drop in is at Bedford Square Community Centre, Tithe Farm Road, Houghton Regis, from 4-8pm.

There are many records of flooding from the River Lee and its tributaries in particular where the Houghton Brook joins the River Lee around Toddington Road. To reduce this flood risk the Environment Agency is planning to build a flood storage area on the Houghton Brook at Houghton Regis on a site adjacent to the M1motorway.

The Environment Agency is working in partnership with Luton Borough Council and when completed the Houghton Regis Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) is planned to reduce flood risk to over 500 properties downstream in Luton. This scheme is part of the £2.5bn planned to be spent by the Environment Agency between 2015 and 2021 on flood management because flooding has devastating costs for people and businesses. The Houghton Regis FAS has received Grant In Aid funding of £4million, together with a contribution of £230k from Luton Borough Council.

Once established, the flood storage area will form part of the green infrastructure between Houghton Regis and a proposed new development site. The Houghton Brook will be realigned and re-naturalised to provide an attractive green corridor with public open space and recreational areas, creating a better place for people and wildlife.

Suzanne Wilson, Flood Risk Advisor at the Environment Agency, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to work with our partners to reduce flood risk and also deliver some environmental enhancements. We are in discussions with Central Bedfordshire Council and intend to submit our planning application before the end of the year. If we are successful in our planning application, this will enable us to begin construction in 2018.”