Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 10:24 UK

Flood defences for deluged homes

View of flooded homes at Deerhurst
More than half the homes in Deerhurst were flooded during summer 2007

Work is under way on new flood defences for a village in Gloucestershire where many properties were seriously damaged during the summer floods of 2007.

Eighteen of the 29 homes in Deerhurst suffered severe flooding. Of these, four are listed and 13 had water more than one metre deep throughout.

A campaign was set up for better flood protection, supported by the Deerhurst Preservation Society with £50,000.

The Environment Agency responded with a £500,000 flood alleviation scheme.

The work is expected to last for about three months, as the area is of national archaeological importance and contains a scheduled ancient monument.

'Remain prepared'

St Mary's Church, which is Anglo Saxon, and Odda's Chapel, which dates back to 1056 AD, are the two buildings of historic and national interest.

Anthony Crowther, from the Environment Agency, said: "We are delighted to announce that work has started on a flood alleviation scheme for Deerhurst.

"It is good news for the residents, who suffered very badly during the 2007 floods, with well over half the homes in the village being affected.

"However, while they are now protected from flooding to modern standards, it is possible for an extreme flood to overtop even the best defences.

"People must remain prepared and have their flood plans in place."

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