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Flooding (Essex)

Volume 413: debated on Friday 24 August 1945

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asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that parts of the villages of Salcott and Virley in Essex have been flooded by the sea during part of the winter for several years past; and whether he will order an examination of the area in order that such flooding may be avoided in the future.

I am aware that flooding has occurred in Salcott and Virley as the result of the sea wall being overtopped by exceptionally high tides. The authority responsible for flood prevention in that area is the Essex Rivers Catchment Board, who are carrying out, with the aid of a grant of 60 per cent. from the funds at my disposal, a comprehensive scheme for the reconstruction of the sea defences within the catchment area at a pre-war estimated cost of about £1,000,000. In 1939 the Board prepared a scheme of improvement works for the Salcott-Virley sea wall but had to defer it owing to the war. The Board are responsible for 283 miles of sea and tidal walls and cannot yet see their way to undertake the scheme, as their available resources are fully employed on other works of greater urgency. They have, however, agreed to do so as soon as conditions permit. In the circumstances I do not think that an inspection of the area would serve any useful purpose.