Praise for flood relief work aimed at saving estate

Alan Metcalfe, his wife Viv and Councillor Tracey Dixon
Alan Metcalfe, his wife Viv and Councillor Tracey Dixon

Efforts to reduce the risk of flooding on a South Tyneside estate have been praised by residents.

 People living on the Fellgate Estate in Jarrow saw their homes flooded three years ago but a major scheme is underway to help prevent a recurrence of the problem.

 A £2.5m project which involved upgrading the surface water drainage system on the estate was completed earlier this year.

 Now, thanks to £800,000 from the Environment Agency, South Tyneside Council and Northumbrian Water are building new sustainable drainage systems at or near Fellgate Primary School, Rochester Square, St Joseph’s Primary School, Lawnsway, Durham Drive (East), Lincoln Way and Durham Drive (West).

 As part of the works, a pond will be created on the playing fields of St Joseph’s School and at Fellgate School, creating educational focal points.

  Other works include the creation of swales, dry detention areas and improvements to the local highways drainage.

 Alan Metcalfe, 64, of The Glade, has contacted the council to pass on his thanks for the work.

 He said: “A lot of other councils up and down the country have just washed their hands of this issue but South Tyneside Council and Northumbrian Water have done a great job. Everybody agrees the work has been fantastic.”

 Councillor Tracey Dixon, said: “The extreme weather of 2012 caused a great deal of upset and anxiety for many local residents.

 “While we can never guarantee that an area will be flood free, these measures do give local people on this estate an additional level of protection.”

A spokesperson from Northumbrian Water added: “We appreciate the devastating impact flooding can have on residents and businesses and it’s our top priority to try and reduce the likelihood of it happening again.

“With weather patterns changing we are seeing an increase in flash flooding and we need to be prepared for the future. This improvement scheme is just one of many that Northumbrian Water is carrying out throughout the region over the next five years, to upgrade our vast sewer network and help to reduce the risk of properties flooding.”

Retired BT engineer Alan, 64, added: “Being flooded is an awful experience. We had to take up our carpets and bring in dehumidifiers.

“Hopefully this work will mean we will never be in the same position again.”