Rishi Sunak welcomes Stokesley flood defences investment

Rishi Sunak MP has welcomed a £1.8m Government investment in maintaining the effectiveness of Stokesley’s flood defences.

The cash is included in a £62m boost for England’s flood defences announced by Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers.

The £1.8m will be spent by the Environment Agency to maintain and improve the efficiency of the Stokesley Flood Alleviation Scheme which was built in the 1970s.

A flood diversion channel was constructed to take flood waters out of the River Leven and into Ellerbeck and protect 500 properties in the centre of Stokesley from flooding.

The work will involve silt removal, better flow control, rebuilding and regrading river banks and refurbishing of flood walls.

A spokesmen for the Environment Agency said new flow control structures would be better able to moderate the flow of water through Stokesley, which will improve biodiversity - the variety of plant and animal life - on the River Leven by making the flow of the river more natural and reducing the amount of sediment which accumulates.

Mr Sunak said: “Stokesley’s existing flood defences have worked well over the years but they have to be refurbished to maintain the level of protection.

“The Environment Agency’s plan will also have to the additional benefit of creating a better habitat for wildlife.”