ENVIRONMENT Agency officers have submitted plans for new flood defences in Leominster.

The proposals will protect more than 250 homes by raising the existing railway embankment over a length of around 875 yards of the right bank of the River Lugg bypass channel.

The flood defence height will be up to 3.2ft above the existing ground level and they intend to minimise the impact on the privacy of residential properties by planting trees.

Roughly 110 yards of the embankment will be retained by a concrete flood wall to account for the constrained width of the riverbank.

And a flood wall up to 21 yards length, will tie-in the raised defences to the Network Rail Bridge.

Local civic leaders have welcomed the proposals which they see as vital for the future of Leominster.

Town mayor Clive Thomas said he was looking forward to the plans going ahead.

“It’s a positive scheme which will help prevent flooding,” he said.

“It will be very good for Leominster and the Environment Agency did a proper consultation

“I can remember in the 1960s how Mill Street used to flood and the water would be up to five foot deep.”

County councillor John Stone said he too welcomed the scheme.

“It is a very positive proposal.

“With climate change and the increased likelihood of heavy rain and flooding, anything that protects residents from potential flooding should be welcomed.

“The river levels are not too bad at the moment, but we could get a summer like we did in 2007.”

Environment Agency project manager Craig Barker said work should begin in late autumn if it’s approved.

He said: “The proposed scheme will enhance the existing flood defence along the River Lugg in order to improve the standard of flood protection to 251 residential and commercial properties.

“We are planning to raise an 800m length of the existing embankment on the right bank of the river. We hope to begin the work late autumn 2019 with a view to completion in summer 2020.”

Residents have until August 15 to comment on the proposals which county planners are expected to consider by October 11.