The second stage of a £42.9 million project to protect homes in Great Yarmouth from flooding has been completed, protecting over 2,000 homes.

The project saw existing defences refurbished and strengthened in order to prolong their life.

It also decreased the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the works.

The defences along the rivers Yare and Bure were over 50 years old and nearing the end of their design lives.

Epoch 2 is the second part of a five-phase programme by the Environment Agency to improve flood defences in Great Yarmouth over the next 40 years.

Epoch 1 was completed in 2017 and saw 630 metres of sheet piling and refurbishing of a further 85 metres.

Construction of the second phase began in September 2019 and focused on 40 flood defence walls covering around 4km.

These assets were refurbished where possible to extend their life and reduce the carbon footprint and cost of the work.

As a result of the work, 2,115 properties are now better protected from flooding.

The defences have been designed with climate change predictions in mind, including cutting carbon during construction and using generators to keep fuel usage low.

Plans for the next stage of the programme, known as Epoch 3, are currently in progress with the business case being developed.

Tom Stanley, project manager for Epoch 2 said: “We know the devastating impact that flooding can have on communities like Great Yarmouth. So, protecting people and communities through projects like Epoch 2 is our top priority. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change in the UK and around the world, which is why urgent action is needed to adapt the impacts of climate emergency.

“We’re working towards ways of reducing flood risk that also reduce our carbon emissions helping us to reach net zero by 2030. Projects refurbishing existing flood defences and extending their life contribute to this, through less use of new and carbon intensive materials. We will continue to work to protect the people of Great Yarmouth for many years to come as the programme progresses.”

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