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Faversham Creek flood defences to be improved by the Environment Agency

Defences constructed after the town was hit by the worst floods in 60 years in 2013 are to have remedial work done less than three years after they were built.

On December 6, 2013, water poured into people’s homes and businesses in the middle of the night, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage within a matter of hours to properties in Front and Upper Brents.

Many residents were forced to evacuate their homes for almost a year as they dealt with the aftermath.

The flood in 2013 caused thousands of pounds worth of damage. Picture: Tony Flashman FM2938256 (15180634)
The flood in 2013 caused thousands of pounds worth of damage. Picture: Tony Flashman FM2938256 (15180634)

They decided to team up with the Environment Agency and the council to find a permanent solution that would stop this from happening again.

Alongside money from individual residents, the Environment Agency, Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council and Faversham Town Council, all contributed to the cost of a new grassed embankment defence, about 80cm in height.

Constructed in September 2016, the embankment has a series of flood gates, which can be closed during a flood, meaning people can still access the green and Creek area. At the time, plans faced minor opposition.

Now, the Environment Agency plans to carry out improvements works to the flood defences, including replacing the timber retaining walls at each gate.

The defences were constructed in 2016. Picture: Chris Davey FM4565459 (15180476)
The defences were constructed in 2016. Picture: Chris Davey FM4565459 (15180476)

Mike Henderson, of the Brents Community Association, said: “There were very few people at the time who opposed the plans, for some ridiculous reasons.

“It was a good collaboration between the Environment Agency and the residents.

“The defences have been put to the test at least three times and worked perfectly fine; it has helped enormously.

“But flooding like that happened in 2013 only tends to happen about every 50 years. Before 2013, it happened in 1953, and the time before that in about 1898.”

Mike Henderson, who lives on the Front Brents, says the defences have "helped enormously". Picture: Tony Flashman. (15207630)
Mike Henderson, who lives on the Front Brents, says the defences have "helped enormously". Picture: Tony Flashman. (15207630)

The Environment Agency has confirmed work will begin in September, lasting up to four weeks.

A spokesman said: "To ensure continued protection from the risk of flooding for more than 20 residential properties and the Albion Taverna pub in Front Brents, we will be carrying out maintenance work to the flood defence.

"New timber walls will be installed by the flood gates from September, along with wooden benches for public use.

"We will also improve access to the jetty by removing some of the concrete plinths, and smoothing out the river bank surface.

"A new gauge board on the jetty will allow our officers to record water levels in the Creek more accurately."

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