January 2, 2016
Work on major new flood prevention scheme for Brent Knoll to begin

Work on a major new flood prevention scheme in Brent Knoll is set to begin over the coming week.

Axe Brue Drainage Board contractors will be arriving in Brent Knoll from Monday January 4th to start work - and several road closures will come into force.

The work is aimed at preventing flooding property and roads in Brent Knoll, which has occured on a number of occasions, notably in late 1999 and more recently in November 2012 and in January 2013.

The scheme is joint funded by the Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium, Somerset County Council, Wessex Water and Brent Knoll Parish Council and will provide a new culvert under Brent Street to take excess water flows away from Church Lane and divert it to the south toward the Applewithy Rhyne.

"Rapid rainfall runoff from the steep slopes of the Knoll quickly fills the shallow gradient channels and culverts at the base of the hill, backs up and spills out onto the roads and into surrounding gardens and properties," a spokesman told

"This area is served by a complex network of open watercourses, culverts and highway drains."

"Much of the system is in poor condition and is unable to cope with the volumes of water produced during heavy localised rainfall events. In addition there is a history of problems relating to the sewers in the area."

The proposed scheme will connect the open section of the West Town Gutter watercourse in Church Lane, under Brent Street via a new 65m long 600mm diameter culvert, into the improved ditch alongside Body’s Lane. In addition the existing culvert under Body’s Lane into Applewithy Rhyne will be improved and an overflow spillway between the Applewithy Rhyne and Brent Broad Rhyne will be constructed.

"This approach will enable excess flow to drain away from the village and into the maintained rhyne network which drains toward the River Axe (Applewithy Rhyne) and River Brue (Brent Broad Rhyne)," added the spokesman.

Motorists have been warned to expect delays with several road closures planned during the work over the next few weeks.

The western end of Church Lane will be closed from 4th January for up to three weeks. This will affect only a very short length and access will be possible from the other end of Church Lane throughout.

Brent Street will also be closed from 18th January for up to four weeks, from the western junction with Church Lane to a point just east of Body’s Lane, near to the Methodist church.

"The Church Lane closure will be lifted before the Brent Street closure is installed, such that both are not active concurrently," added the spokesman. "Pedestrian access past the works will be maintained whenever it is safe."

"To allow the Body’s Lane culvert and spillway work to be undertaken the public footpath which follows the lane and runs alongside the Applewithy Rhyne will be closed for approximately two weeks."

"It is inevitable that disruption will be felt within the village, but we hope that the community recognises the need for this essential flood relief scheme, which will reduce the risk of flooding to properties and roads in the area."

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