Plans have been unveiled for an innovative scheme to protect a flood-hit area of Ipswich.
More than £1 million will be spent to reduce the risk of flooding from drains in the Lovetofts Drive and Daimler Road area, where homes and gardens can be swamped by rainwater that pours off surrounding roads and roofs during heavy storms.
The proposed solution is a combination of traditional engineering and work to use and improve the area’s natural drainage – so called Sustainable Drainage or SUDS.
People will be able to see the plans for themselves at an exhibition at the Whitehouse Residents Association Community Centre in Limerick Close between 3pm and 7pm on October 1st.
They include a new underground tank, which would store rainwater until the area’s drains can remove it.
In addition, engineers would work with nature, putting in landscape features that help to slow, store and soak up the rain.
Stephen Langlois, who is overseeing the scheme for Anglian Water, said: “Flooding can be extremely distressing and we are determined to do what we can to reduce the risk for our customers in Daimler Road.
“Including the SUDS as well as the more traditional storage tank, means we can reduce that risk while significantly reducing the cost and carbon impact of the project.
“The beauty of SUDS schemes is that they allow you to work with nature rather than fighting it and features can also enhance an area, providing more interesting green spaces and attracting wildlife.”
He added: “In this case, basins would be dug along either side of Lovetofts Drive. These would hold on to the flood water and help to stop it from running down the road towards houses and gardens.
“I would encourage local people to come along to the exhibition and see for themselves what we are proposing.”
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to meet Anglian Water staff and consultants behind the SUDS proposals, along with representatives from Suffolk Flood Risk Management Partnership, who would help fund part of the scheme, and Ipswich Borough Council who own some of the land that would be used.
Cllr Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Roads and Transport said: "This proposed scheme stands to make a great deal of difference to residents at Lovetofts Drive and Daimler Road by significantly reducing the amount of flood water affecting their homes as a result of heavy rain.
“It is a clear example of joined up partnership working between the county council and Anglian Water, and is part of our wider aim to protect Suffolk residents from the serious effects of flash flooding. I would encourage as many people as possible to come and see the plans and have their say."
The hope is to start work next March with the scheme complete by the end of August.