South Northamptonshire Council’s appointed contractor, FJ Morris of Towcester, and Kidlington-based consulting engineer Hannah Reed have started work on the long-awaited Windsor Close Flood Alleviation Scheme. All being well, the works will last around six weeks and will operate in two halves: first work from Banbury Lane, then work from Hampton Drive.
The work here consists of replacing the existing culvert between numbers 60 and 62 with a larger (600mm) pipe – twice the size of the old one but with four times the capacity. The new culvert will lead straight across Banbury Lane into a new ditch that continues directly down to the Black Brook. (This ditch will be fenced on both sides.) Preliminary work has required the removal of some trees along the line of the enlarged culvert.
A new headwall will be built on the field side of the new culvert and a trash screen will be installed, both to prevent debris getting into the pipe and for health & safety reasons. As part of its arrangements for the Windsor Close flood alleviation scheme, the parish council has agreed with the landowner to inspect this trash screen once a fortnight to ensure that debris does not accumulate on it.
Temporary traffic lights will be required for a few days to allow for the placing of the new culvert across Banbury Lane. (The engineer has applied to Northamptonshire County Council for a licence for two weeks to be on the safe side.)
Before the contractors could start, an archaeological investigation had to be carried out. This work consisted of trial trenching across the areas of archaeological interest – similar to the work undertaken last year. Now, earth moving equipment has been brought in to gently reshape field levels so that any floodwater from the south side of the field will be led down and across to the enlarged culvert. As part of this adjustment to the field levels, some surplus excavated material will be placed along the boundaries of Windsor Close and Banbury Lane to provide an additional raised bank.
There will be no need for lorries to bring in or remove any material to carry out the work. Topsoil in the area of work has already been carefully stripped and stored. On completion of the regrading, this topsoil will be replaced and cultivated ready for a new agricultural crop. In front of the entrance to the culvert, a small depression will be created where additional floodwater can accumulate. (This will act as a small wetland and bring some additional environmental benefit to the scheme.)
Please Take a Bow...
King’s Sutton Parish Council would like to extend its thanks to everyone who has worked so hard for so long on the local Flood Alleviation Group to get this scheme off the ground. It would also like to thank the landowners and residents who have cooperated to make the scheme happen: the Cherry and Harper families, Mr & Mrs Irving, Ms Priestley and Dr and Mrs Singh. Particular thanks are due to our district councillor Ian Morris, who found money that had been put into the reserves by our late councillor Valerie Whitaker, and who persuaded South Northamptonshire Council’s cabinet to produce some bridging finance at the last moment. Finally, the Environment Agency deserves our thanks for approving the core funding and for being so patient as the scheme has slowly come to fruition.
For further information, please contact the Parish Clerk Ann Le Druillenec on 01295 816905 or use the email contact form here. Queries about the construction work itself should be addressed to Simon King of Hannah Reed on 01865 841893.
Our picture of the flood alleviation works comes courtesy of local resident Zoe Alleway