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Chester-le-Street flood prevention consultation


Find out how we consulted on a proposed scheme to help reduce the risk of flooding in Chester-le-Street and the feedback received.

Background

Chester-le-Street has a history of flooding and was most recently affected by a storm in June 2012 which resulted in flooding of the Cong Burn in the town. This affected homes and businesses at Menceforth Cottages, Market Place, South Burns, Front Street, Cone Terrace and Hopgarth Gardens. Investigations show that the main cause of the flooding is the culvert and any kind of blockage can significantly affect flood depths. Flood prevention works have already taken place by Northumbrian Water, the Environment Agency and ourselves. However, further work is needed to reduce flood risks in the longer term.

Public consultation

The consultation took place between 15 January and 11 February 2018 with a survey completed by 163 people and a public consultation event attended by almost 100 people to obtain views from the public on the proposals. We also held meetings with market stall holders attended by 8 traders and other local businesses to gather their views. A petition signed by 1848 people has also been received from the market traders opposing the relocation of the market.  

The proposals included opening up a 90m stretch of the culvert in the area currently used for the market to reduce the flood risks to the area. It is also proposed to extend the existing floodwall in the town by a further 125m. You can see the locations of the proposed works and options presented in the document downloads section on the right of this page.

What you told us

We have reviewed all the feedback received and this is summarised below:

  • (82%) supported the proposal to open the culvert and redesign the market place to reduce the flood risk in Chester-Le-Street.
  • (93%) preferred Option 1, with a grassed and landscaped area. The most common suggestion from people who preferred this option was for more seating, more trees and flowers/plants including wildflowers and/or raised beds.
  • One of the key issues highlighted related to the future safety and maintenance of the area.  
  •  A common comment was that the current market is poor (20%) and there is a desire to see a better quality market offer and the space offered to the market could be reduced.
  • (13%) believe this will create a focal point for the town, with the opportunity to be the start of the regeneration of the town (5%).
  • (7%) said they didn't believe it will stop the town flooding with (6%) commenting that they believe it will be a waste of money.
  • The market traders have expressed negative views on the proposed relocation of the market. They have concerns that it would be a repeat of the last temporary move, where the market was located to an area not visible from the front street, they state that as a result, trade never recovered. 

Next steps

Following consideration of all feedback, the designs for the proposed schemes are being finalised and a funding bid submitted to the European Regional Development Fund. Further details will be available once the outcome of the funding application is known.

Funding

Funding is required for the proposed project and we are currently applying for funding from a range of sources to cover the cost of the scheme: Environment Agency (£1.6m); European Regional Development Fund (£2.6m); Environment Agency levy (£0.5m); Durham County Council (£1.5m).

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