1. ITV Report

Plans unveiled to protect hundreds of homes and businesses at risk of flooding

The Environment Agency has unveiled plans to protect more than 700 properties in north Reading and Caversham which it says are at risk of major flooding.

It's the largest developed area in the Thames Valley at risk from flooding with no planned flood scheme.

A series of public events are being held for members of the public Credit: ITV Meridian

It'll be holding a series of public events for the public to give feedback on the £30 million pound scheme which includes building flood walls and temporary barriers.

A number of homes and businesses in the area were flooded in 2014 and the agency says it's only a matter of time before it happens again.

Local residents and businesses can give feedback on the plans Credit: ITV Meridian

A number of different options have been considered for the scheme, from a flood storage area to natural flood management measures such as woodland planting and wetland restoration.

  • Joe Cuthbertson, flood-risk manager for the Environment Agency

”It’s very easy to underestimate the damage and destruction flooding causes, both financially and on people’s mental health.

“Reading has been lucky this winter, missing the very worst of the storms so far, but has suffered serious flooding before.

“In 2003 and 2014, homes and businesses in low lying areas of Caversham flooded and many more were surrounded by water. Another deluge hit Lower Caversham in 1947. “Our plans would see north Reading and Lower Caversham better protected from flooding through a mix of earth embankments, flood walls and removable flood barriers.

“The option benefitting the greatest number of people would be built from Promenade Road to east of Amersham Road, north of the River Thames, and from Caversham Bridge to Reading Bridge on the south side.”

– Joe Cuthbertson, flood-risk manager for the Environment Agency in the Thames Valley
Parts of Caversham were devastated in 2014 following heavy rain Credit: ITV Meridian

The plans to reduce flood-risk include a commitment to improve the local environment.

Trees would also be planted to replace any lost during the building of the defences.