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2nd Jul, 2022

Severn Stoke flood defences investigated

Worcester Editorial 27th Mar, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A BID to secure flood defences in Severn Stoke is now being investigated with villagers still reeling from last month’s severe floods.

More than a hundred residents attended a crisis meeting in the village hall earlier this month where representatives from the Environment Agency and Severn Trent were also present along with MP Harriett Baldwin and local flood activists Mary Dhonau and the village’s very own Flood Action Group (FLAG).

They were told thanks to a recent Government pledge Severn Stoke which is the only remaining unprotected village between Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, could now be considered for a long term solution to flooding.

The Environment Agency confirmed there are a number concepts being looked into, with one idea to create a bund – wall of earth – around the vulnerable parts of the village.

The organisation vowed to work with the FLAG group on the proposals before the costs of any project were drawn up.

Meanwhile Mrs Baldwin will hold talks with the two relevant land owners who would have to permit the works on their property.

District Coun David Harrison, who represents Kemspey, admitted any project may take around three years to complete, despite residents being told the likelihood of flooding is set to increase in future years due to climate change.

He said: “Having so many people at the meeting was first class, I didn’t think that many people had been flooded but when water gets across the A38 and prevents people going to work a lot of residents were affected.

“I was very pleased from the turnout from the invited guests. It was a very productive meeting and certainly worthwhile. This is obviously going to go on for a while, things won’t happened overnight.”

This February was the third time the village had been flooded since 2007 and the village hall, St Deny’s Church and the Rose and Crown pub are all still closed for general use.

Peter Fryar, landlord at the Rose and Crown, said the venue was submerged in waste high waters and is still a few weeks away from opening while significant refurbishment is currently underway.

He said a man-made damn very nearly fended off the invading water but eventually it was overcame and water found its way into the pub.

Mr Fryar added the community had pulled together in recent weeks and was hopeful the proposed defences would work.

“Everybody has been affected in the village because their homes and businesses remain unsellable because the words Severn Stoke are scarred by flooding.

“But disaster always brings people together and this village from top to bottom is sticking together.

“Hopefully the defences are possible and we are maybe moving in the right direction.”

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