Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 12:00, 26 May 2014 |
Updated: 09:28, 27 May 2014
The Environment Agency hopes £11 million improvements to the Leigh Barrier can begin by 2019.
The flood defence barrier, which opened in 1982 and is designed to protect Tonbridge, struggled to cope with huge rainfall that led to hundreds of homes flooding on Christmas Eve.
The details came to light during a meeting with Sir John Stanley, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, and members of Sevenoaks and Tonbridge and Malling councils this morning.
It is hoped that raising the gate by one metre will enable it to cope with future harsh weather.
EA officers hope that Kent County Council and central goverment will split the cost 50/50 and this could be finalised when the government releases its Autumn statement.
Paul Carter, leader of the county council, has already made public his desire for the council to contribute £5.5 million for the redevelopment.
Even if the funding is confirmed there is no guarantee that the project will be complete by the end of 2019.
In fact, the agency has conceded that 2020 may be a more realistic completion date.
After a legal agreement to hand the money over has been made it will take at least two years for a design to be approved.
The development may even have to apply for planning permission, although EA officers are optimistic they will be able to avoid this process.
Sir John Stanley said: “My constituents see what is happening in Serbia and they are living in fear of further unprecedented rainfall similar to last winter,” he said.
Neil Gunn, flood risk manager for the EA, said: “I think there’s quite a lot of work to do and it’s going to be hard to progress without a solid design.
“We do however feel that more storage is the best way to go when it comes to improving flood defences.
“We will certainly try to complete as soon as possible.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.