Dam proposed as solution to flooding problem in Essex villages along River Blackwater

The Environment Agency are warning floods as serious as those in 2001 could happen again if nothing is done Credit: ITV Anglia

A multimillion pound project to build a dam on the River Blackwater in Essex has been proposed by the Environment Agency.

The dam would be built near Coggeshall, protecting that village and its neighbours Feering and Kelvedon.

The area has seen significant flooding over the past two decades, the worst coming in 2001 when the centre of Coggeshall became submerged.

According to the Environment Agency (EA), "the villages are expected to experience more frequent, more damaging flooding in the future" due to changing weather patterns.

The scheme is yet to receive planning permission; part of the proposal would see the flood plain to the south-west of Coggeshall expanded.

The dam itself would stretch from Coggeshall Football Club to the Essex Way footpath south of the river. The EA claim the structure would be "blended in with the landscape".

Watch: The Environment Agency produced a video explaining how the dam would work

The project is being part-funded through a partnership with Blackwater Aggregates, which runs a quarry nearby.

The EA estimate it will cost £8m, with £1m coming from the agency's government-funded budget, and the rest coming through the Blackwater Aggregates partnership.

Residents and other interested parties will be able to comment on the scheme once a planning application has been submitted.