In May 2013, Jon Wilkins (retired Civil Engineer), Chairman and Founder of the WFDG, highlighted that Waldringfield is the only settlement on the River Deben not protected with flood defences as part of the Environment Agency’s 2003 initiative. Those communities which received flood defences were protected from the December 2013 flood.
The Environment Agency (EA) forecast a 1 in 5 year risk of flooding. This has been borne out by the near miss in November 2007 , the December 2013 flood and the most recent near miss in October 2014 .
Image: view downstairs - one family waking to this, the morning after the flood.
With significant input from Jon Wilkins and the support of the rest of the WFDG, this community-led project received the support of the EA to complete within three months the outline design of flood defences to protect homes and businesses in Waldringfield and the land to the north (Flood Cell 10 of the Deben Estuary Plan).
In November 2013 the project was incorporated into the Deben Estuary Plan.
The EA is keen to use this project as a pilot / proof of concept, to demonstrate how private stakeholders and local and central government agencies can collectively achieve what either party has historically struggled to achieve individually.
Waldringfield is the only settlement on the River Deben not protected with flood defences...The current risk to flooding at Waldringfield is forecast at 1 in 5 years.
This project will significantly reduce this risk to 1 in 100 years.
The WFDG and the project are supported by Waldringfield residents and a number of organisations and prominent local and national figures, including:
- The Environment Agency
- Suffolk Coastal District Council
- The Deben Estuary Partnership
- Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK’s Independent Committee on Climate Change
- Dr Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal
- Waldringfield Parish Council
The project is also being actively supported by Anglian Water and the Highways Department who are willing to provide engineering services to remove / minimise the risk of the project’s objectives being compromised by ingress of flood water via the sub-terrain ducts that exist within the proposed protected area.
Suffolk Coastal District Council is also fully appraised and has confirmed that our proposals will not be restricted by planning permission.
Special thanks are given to Mark and Emma Barton at Waldringfield Boatyard and Steve and Louise Lomas of The Maybush Inn for their understanding and generosity in providing site and welfare facilities (at their busiest time of year) to the contractors.