Proposals for a raised road to secure access to flood-prone Muchelney will be shared with the community next week, as part of the Levels and Moors Flood Action Plan.
Information will be available at a drop-in event in the village church on Thursday, 3 July from 3-8pm at which people can ask questions about the proposals and make comments on them.
The proposed scheme would raise the first 500m of the Drayton Road from Muchelney by 60cm. This should maintain road access to the village if there is a repeat of last winter’s flooding that left the village cut-off for a prolonged period.
It is the Council’s preferred option following a feasibility study into possible ways of maintaining access. Until tenders for the work have been received, the exact cost of the scheme will not be known. However, based on estimates from the feasibility study this option is considered the most affordable and could – subject to other factors such as the weather – be delivered this year.
The scheme is being undertaken as part of the Somerset Levels and Moors Flood Action Plan (FAP) which is being delivered by a range of agencies co-ordinated by Somerset County Council. As this is a Highways scheme, this work is the responsibility of the County Council.
Cllr Harvey Siggs, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “Being cut-off for so long had a massive impact on the community which is why this is one of the first actions in the plan being addressed.
“All solutions are expensive, and while no decision has been made this is our preferred option. Compared to the other options, this is relatively affordable and – depending on other factors like the weather – could be completed this year.”
Cllr John Osman, Chairman of the FAP Leaders Implementation Group and Leader of Somerset County Council, added: “We know the community want this problem solved and solved as soon as possible. What we need to know now is whether the local community is behind this scheme and I urge people to come along and find out more.
“Delivering the Flood Action Plan involves a lot of organisations working closely together and I’m glad that we are seeing real progress being made.”
The information available at the drop-in session will also be available on the Council website http://somersetnewsroom.com/flood-action-plan/ by 3 July with the opportunity to comment until 20 July.
The aim is for a decision on whether to proceed with the preferred scheme to be taken before the end of July. This will take into account the costs identified through the tendering process and comments received from the community.