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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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New Cockermouth flood barrier almost complete

Work on Cockermouth’s self-raising flood barrier is due to be completed in the next couple of weeks.

It marks a huge step towards completion of the town’s £4.4 million defence scheme, which will help to protect 360 homes and 55 businesses.

All 10 units of the barrier are now in place along a 394ft stretch of the River Cocker, which will help to protect homes on Rubbybanks Road.

The defences are said to protect Cockermouth from a one-in-100-years flood event.

The barriers automatically respond to rising river level, using buoyancy to rise above floodwater.

It is the first time such a scheme has been installed by the Environment Agency but it has previously been used in Ireland, Holland, Italy, Belgium, America and Australia.

Further defences have also been installed or are nearing completion.

A wall and glass panels behind Hatters Croft have been installed, with some minor work to be completed within two weeks.

The defences behind Waterloo Street, a reinforced concrete wall with glass panels, have been finished and flood windows have been installed in properties at The Croft.

Other minor works including replacing patios and boundary walls will take place soon, as well as cleaning out of drains and guttering.

Construction of a bund in Memorial Gardens, to protect properties at Derwentside Gardens, has been suspended because of wet weather.

The Government paid £3.3 million towards the defences, while Cockermouth residents agreed to pay an extra levy on their council tax over three years to raise £120,000, and Cumbria Community Foundation has contributed £100,000.

The town’s 458 businesses have been asked to donate the equivalent of one per cent of their business rates for the next three years.

Cumbria County Council and Allerdale council have agreed to contribute and the rest of the money has been raised through local donations.

The scheme will be officially opened later this year.


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