A project to protect around 130 homes and businesses from flooding is now underway in a South Tyneside village.
The Cleadon Flood Alleviation Scheme will see measures implemented in the Cleadon Lea and Sunderland Road areas to help mitigate surface water flooding - when rainwater does not drain away or soak into the ground but lies or flows over the ground instead.
The £1.2m scheme is part funded by the Council, Environment Agency and the Department of Education and is being delivered following public consultation and working closely with landowners.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "We know only too well the impact of flooding on people and property. During periods of heavy rainfall, surface water flows have the potential to cause severe damage to homes and businesses, causing a great deal of devastation and disruption.
"We are delighted that work is underway to reduce the risk of flooding in the Cleadon area. This scheme is of huge importance to the local community.
"While it is never possible to guarantee that an area will remain flood free, we can certainly work with our partners to increase the level of protection through long-term sustainable schemes such as this. These new measures will go a long way in helping to improve the area's resilience to flooding in future by better controlling the flow of surface water as well as providing reassurance for local residents and business owners."
Cleadon Flood Alleviation Scheme involves creating an embankment and an area north of the Cleadon Lea estate to catch overland flows from the nearby fields.
Following feedback from a consultation event in March, which involved local residents and councillors, the plans for the embankment to be extended were incorporated into the final scheme. The area will also be planted with wetland wildflowers, helping to create a valuable new wildlife habitat.
The plans also include improvements to drainage ditches at West Hall Farm to increase the capacity for surface water. This will help to reduce the amount of water entering the drainage system on Sunderland Road.
South Tyneside Council has appointed civil engineers Bam Nuttall and designers Royal Haskoning DHV to deliver the scheme at both locations. The work is expected to take around five months to complete. Traffic management has been put in place.
Simon Wilson, from the Flood and Coastal Risk Management Team at the Environment Agency, has been involved in the project throughout. He said: "This scheme has been a long time in the planning and I'm really pleased that work is starting. We understand how distressing it is to be flooded and hopefully this brings some reassurance to the community, which has suffered from surface water flooding in the past.
"We work closely with our partners through the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee to carry out vital projects that reduce the risk of flooding from our main rivers, but also to support projects that reduce the risk from surface water flooding and coastal erosion, which can be equally devastating."