IF Tenbury doesn’t get its flood defense program, it will become a ghost town.
That’s the stark message from County Councilor David Chambers who says Tenbury must be flood-proofed as fears mount for the project which faces a £3.2million hike.
Councilor Chambers met with County Council Leader Simon Geraghty and Councilor Richard Morris, the Cabinet Member responsible for the environment and representatives from the Environment Agency.
“Apart from applying for planning approval from Malvern Hills District Council, there appear to be two main hurdles to overcome,” Mr Chambers said.
He said the first is the cost-benefit which is a calculation of the monetary benefit of the work which should not be less than the amount spent.
But while the benefit was calculated at £8.4m, the cost soared to £9.8m.
“This flood defense system is more complicated than the majority of systems across the country,” Chambers added.
“Tenbury Wells is a historic market town with many heritage assets which must be protected for future generations”.
“It will not surprise anyone that the costs calculated before Covid and before the war in Ukraine have increased considerably.
“With inflation currently at 9.1%, fuel prices at £2 a liter and food, building materials and everything else going up, then of course the cost of our flood defense system will go up also.”
He said the Environment Agency should look at the overall benefits to the city as a result of the program and take that into account in any recalculation and see if any money can be saved.
Councilor Chambers also asked Tenbury MP Harriett Baldwin to ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to order a review of the scheme’s ‘cost-benefit’ calculation method, taking into account the factors current inflationary trends and the inevitable increase in the overall cost of the scheme.
“If you want to protect a town from flooding, if you want to prevent residents’ homes from being partially destroyed again, if you want businesses to be able to survive and prevent Tenbury from becoming a ghost town, then 3.2 million pounds is a small price to pay.”