West Kent’s £21.5M flood scheme gets the green light

The Environment Agency scheme to build a flood embankment and pumping station in Hildenborough has received planning permission from Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.

The works planned at Hildenborough include a new embankment, pumping station, kiosk and flood defence wall. This will form part of the larger flood protection scheme involving increasing the capacity of the Leigh flood storage area (Leigh FSA) by approximately 25 per cent. Once completed, the overall scheme will reduce the risk of flooding for 1,430 properties.

“Securing planning approval for the Hildenborough embankment element of the scheme enables us to press ahead with construction works that will improve flood protection to more than 1,400 properties in Tonbridge and Hildenborough,” said Sally Harvey, Environment Agency area director for Kent, South London and East Sussex.

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, commented: “Expansion of the Leigh flood storage area and the Hildenborough expansion scheme will help defend thousands of residents from flooding. I am pleased this crucial landmark has been passed and construction can start next year.”

At a cost of around £21.5m, construction is due to start at the Leigh FSA in spring 2023, and is expected to begin at Hildenborough in 2024. The full scheme is expected to be completed in autumn 2025.

The West Kent scheme is being delivered by the Environment Agency in partnership with: Kent County Council; Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council; and South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

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Photo: The Environment Agency