AN MP has welcomed progress made by the Environment Agency to develop a new flood risk management scheme for a group of villages.

The government agency have been working on a risk management scheme to help protect properties in Coggeshall, Feering and Kelvedon, from flooding from the River Blackwater - something that Witham MP Priti Patel has campaigned for since her election in 2010.

Following an options paper and survey last year, the Environment Agency are now developing a business case for a scheme involving tree planting on the floodplain of the River Blackwater and a potential storage area to store flood water upstream of Coggeshall.

It is hoped that these measures would decrease the probability of the river flooding to just one percent, or one every 100 years.

The villages have suffered significant flooding in 2001, 2012 and 2014.

Whilst the agency will be contributing a large amount towards the scheme, they are not funding it entirely and will be working collaboratively with their partners, landowners, communities and businesses to make up the funding gap.

Ms Patel said: “Villages along the River Blackwater have suffered from horrendous flooding incidents in the past and new measures are needed to protect homes and businesses.

"Following the survey last year, I am pleased to see that the Environment Agency are looking to develop a scheme and have responded to public feedback.

“This action is welcome but more work is needed to secure a funding package and to deliver this project. I have been in contact with the local councils about this scheme and hope that they can all work constructively together so that properties can be protected in the future.”

For more information on the project, email: or call: 03708 506506.