Representatives from Wealden District Council and the Environment Agency who visited homes as a free property resilience survey was conducted.

Grants available towards flood protection in Uckfield homes

Grants of up to £2,000 are available to households in Uckfield towards installing flood protection measures.

The money is being made available following initial flood resilience awareness work carried out in the town and elsewhere in Wealden at Alfriston, Forest Row, and Hellingly.

The work conducted by the district council in partnership with East Sussex Fire and Rescue, the Enviornment Agency, the National Flood Forum and East Sussex County Council involved identifying and advising those households most at risk from the effects of flooding.

A free property flood resilience survey was paid for by the district council at 57 properties and nearly 50 of them will benefit from flood protection.

Measures, such as flood doors, barriers and air brick covers, will be paid for through a grant of £100,000 from the Regional Flood and Coast Committee.

Wealden initially provided £36,000 towards the cost of the protection measures which has been more than matched by the grant from the flood and coast committee.

Cllr Claire Dowling, Wealden cabinet member for public health and community safety said flood resilience was all about being prepared for what may happen, and avoiding the cost and heartache that flood damage could cause.

She added: “It is estimated that the preventative work these households can carry out could result in savings of over £1.5 million in repair and restoration costs if there was a flooding event.

“We hope these measures will never be tested, but the uncertainty caused by climate change means households need to be aware if there is a potential flood risk to their property, and the damage it could cause.”

The flood doors and air brick covers being offered through the scheme are said to be far more effective at protecting property from flood damage than traditional responses such as sandbags.

Assistant Director of Safer Communities at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Mark Matthews said: “Unfortunately when it comes to flooding, often by the time we are called the damage has already been done to property and possessions.

“It can take months to recover and can be very costly. The good news is that there are measures which people can take and we strongly encourage householders and businesses to find out more before it is too late.”

Two hundred properties in Uckfield, Alfriston, Forest Row, and Hellingly were visited by representatives of the partners taking part and given information packs, invitations to drop-in community engagement events and the opportunity to take part in a free flood resilience survey by an independent firm of surveyors.

Those properties where the survey found that property protection would significantly reduce the impact of flooding will be eligible for the grants of up to £2,000 each. The survey took account of the risk of both river and surface water flooding.

A copy of the Wealden Flooding and Drainage Advice for Property Owners booklet can be downloaded from the Flood and Severe Weather page on the Wealden website.

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