In November 2010 UK Flood Barriers won the competitive tender to undertake a Defra funded Property Level Flood Protection Scheme in Lamberhurst, Kent, in conjunction with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and the Environment Agency. Lamberhurst’s most recent serious flooding event was in October 2000, and feasibility studies ensued, with the most economically viable option being localised protection to individual properties.
This was a challenging project due to the listed status of many of the houses in the village; of the 26 properties that were part of the project, 20 were grade II listed and required listed building consent. All the properties are in a conservation area and it was important that the measures didn’t change the integrity of the buildings and that any permanent features were as discreet as possible.
We successfully completed the necessary protection requirements specified by the Environment Agency property level surveys, whilst sympathetically maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the village. The programme of works included installing our BSI Kitemarked Flood Angel barrier, whose invisible fixing system was integral to the success of this project, as well as Kitemarked automatic airbricks which in many cases were installed behind existing iron grills, again avoiding any visual impact to the homes.
Non return valves were installed to prevent sewage backflow, pumps were issued to most properties, and home owners were given full training as to ongoing care, maintenance and deployment of the products fitted.
Gaining the permission from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s Heritage Officer and English Heritage was critical to the project. Communication was key to the project’s success, and the council’s planning and heritage officers were involved from day one of the project, with UK Flood Barriers installation team continuing this communication once on site.
It has been a pleasure working with UK Flood Barriers; the team worked hard to come up with solutions that are sympathetic to the listed buildings and acceptable to both the heritage officers and the owners of the properties.