Consultation launched into £6.2million flood prevention plans for town

The park on the riverside in Chester-le-Street is among areas which have flooded in the past.
The park on the riverside in Chester-le-Street is among areas which have flooded in the past.
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A consultation on a proposed £6.2million flood prevention scheme in a town will begin next week.

Durham County Council is considering opening up a 90-metre stretch of the Cong Burn, which runs underneath Chester-le-Street’s Market Place, and is asking members of the public for their views.

It is hoped that as well as reducing the risk of flooding, the move, which would see the watercourse transformed into a public realm feature and the existing flood wall extended, could also provide an economic boost.

People can give their views from Monday and consultation will run until Sunday, February 11, with the effort to also ask feedback on alternative locations for the market if the plan goes ahead.

A drop-in information session will take place on Tuesday, February 6, at Cornerstone Community Centre, North Burns, from 2pm to 7pm.

Chester-le-Street has a history of flooding and was particularly badly affected by a severe storm in June 2012.

A number of schemes have since been carried out by the council, Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency in an effort to prevent flooding. However, further work is needed in order to reduce flood risk in the longer term.

If funding is secured, it is hoped that work would begin in 2018 and would be complete by 2020.

For more information, visit www.durham.gov.uk/consultation from Monday.

Surveys will also be available from Chester-le-Street Library or by calling 030000 260 000.