A new glass flood defence scheme protecting 528 properties is being officially opened in Wells-Next-the-Sea.
The innovative scheme will be opened by Norman Lamb MP, Member of Parliament for North Norfolk, Paul Leinster, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency and County Councillor, Dr Marie Strong.
Adjacent to Beach Road, the flood defence used to have large timber flood boards which were installed every October at the start of the flooding season to increase the defence height, but removed in April to allow views over the quay.
The new, permanent, glass defence continues to protect people, homes and businesses from flooding whilst allowing uninterrupted views across the quay throughout the year. The glass wall took fewer than two weeks to install, has a self-cleaning coating and needs minimal future maintenance.
Dr Charles Beardall, Area Manager for the Environment Agency said: “Installing the boards was always a time consuming but extremely important task, often inconveniencing local people and businesses. As the boards needed replacing, our team designed this innovative solution which makes use of the significant improvements in structural glass technology.”
County Councillor Dr Marie Strong said: “When I was approached with a proposal to replace the wooden boards with the very latest system of glass it was exciting to say the least! What followed were detailed discussions with all concerned as to the viability and acceptability of, what to us in Wells, was a revolutionary concept.
“Praise must go to Environment Agency staff both in providing answers to all the concerns and of course to assembling the glass panels – not an easy task with wind and rain."
Local MP Norman Lamb commented: “The new defences have transformed the quay, and will be a real asset for the town. Marie Strong has worked fantastically hard alongside the Environment Agency to bring this to fruition. It really is an honour to be asked to open the defence today.”