New flood defences on Aylesbury’s Willows estate given test run

The Willows flood defences are given a test run
The Willows flood defences are given a test run

New flood defences have been given a test run on the Willows estate in Aylesbury.

The emergency equiment, costing £245,000, was given a ‘dry run’ over the weekend - which was organised by the 30-strong Willows Flood Deployment Force.

It was introduced following flash flooding in February 2014, during which 79 properties in the estate suffered from flood damage.

Although the 79 households were offered £5,000 compensation to protect against future flooding, the possibility of future flood damage to more houses should the river burst its bank was seen as too much of a risk.

This led the Residents Flood Committee, led by Gary Wade, to use the money to buy equipment that would protect all 450 households in the estate.

Delivered in January 2016, the equipment includes an emergency flood barrier covering around half a mile, which works with six pumps that can shift the equivalent of 120 bath tubs of water in a minute.

Cllr Steve Lambert said: “I am delighted that the first ‘dry-run’ of the equipment went so well.

“All of the residents can rest assured knowing that some of the best equipment is in place to protect them.”

Bill Chapple OBE, county council cabinet member for planning and the environment said: “Since the disaster in 2014, the Willows community has shown an amazing level of community spirit.

“To pool all the government granted compensation together to protect all 450 households is a real testament to the community of the Willows estate.”

The Willows Flood Deployment Force is made up of county, district and town councillors, council officers and members of the 20-strong Bucks and Oxon Response Group who used their four-wheel drive vehicles to move the defences from the county council’s Griffin Lane depot to the Willows estate.