Bucks County Council has received funding to undertake a feasibility study for flood alleviation in four areas of the county (Bishopstone, Monks Risborough, Saunderton, Hughenden Valley), as part of the “Small Schemes Pathfinder” fund created by Defra. This funding pot was created by Defra in order to encourage “innovative” schemes that serve smaller, disparate communities to be packaged together, to make the appraisal process more efficient and make it easier for them to enter the government capital investment programme. Bucks County Council’s bid was one out of 6 projects to be funded out of 23 applicants.
The innovative approaches Bucks County Council proposed are a combination of:
a) Upstream natural flood management with techniques for slowing down flows across farm or open land and storage of water using low bunds and scrapes.
b) Temporary defences to attenuate water during a flood and pumping water away to less flood risk areas in situations. To be used in areas where more permanent schemes may not be financially viable.
c) Provide frontline flood response resources and equipment at the Parish and Town Council level by developing a realistic and site-specific assessment of need as well as for existing Flood Action Groups.
The idea is that once the feasibility projects are complete, local authorities will report on their findings and will then have the opportunity to apply for funding from the Government’s £2.3bn six year flood defence programme. The results from these trials will be shared with other local authorities and allow them to use similar approaches when developing schemes which benefit small communities.
HVDIG attended a meeting with Bucks CC and their appointed consultants Atkins in December 2015. Atkins has been commissioned to produce a hydrological model of the area. We expressed interest in any simulations from the model regarding the Hughenden Stream course along Boss Lane with the issues there and also on surface water from flash flood/storm events at Valley Road/Coombe Lane, Trees Road, Orchard Close, The Harrow and the Warrendene Road crossroads.
Bucks CC hope to have results of the modelling work commissioned from Atkins on the groundwater/surface water conditions in the Hughenden Valley catchment area ready for presentation to an HVDIG meeting in mid-February 2016 where potential future actions for Hughenden Valley, that Bucks CC could seek DEFRA funding for, can be discussed. We can also discuss how to take forward constructing a Flood Resilience Plan for Hughenden Valley and how it might fit with overall Resilience Planning of Hughenden Parish Council.