George V Park in Westbrook to be shut for three months for surface flooding works

George Park Photo Frank Leppard

George V Park in Westbrook will be closed for three months while work to reduce the risk of surface flooding  at nearby All Saints Avenue.

Works, overseen by Kent County Council, are due to start at the end of this month.

The park will be landscaped to store surface water collected from the surrounding roads. This will be collected in ponds and swales, known as attenuation areas, where it will slowly filter through the planting, removing any pollutants and drain back into the groundwater.

KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “We are finding that the intensity of some of the storms we have experienced recently is resulting in more urban flooding which is increasingly difficult to manage.

“Projects like this help to divert water away from the sewer and drainage network and provide a great opportunity to ensure that the systems can cope.

“The new landscape features and variety of planting will improve the park’s overall appearance with the additional benefit of encouraging wildlife to the area.

“We are working in partnership with the Isle of Thanet Tree and Woodland Initiative project who plan to plant up to 50 new trees at the park as part of the project

“We shall also be extending the footpath throughout the park to provide better interconnectivity to the surrounding area.”

The works are aimed at stopping the issue of flooding in homes around the All Saints Avenue area which are affected when heavy rainfall means the sewer reaches capacity. Diverting the surface water will reduce pressure on the sewer network.

The park is owned by Thanet District Council. The maintenance of the newly planted areas will be undertaken by KCC until they are fully established at which point maintenance will revert back to Thanet council.

The project is being overseen by Kent County Council and part funded by the EU Interreg North Seas Region. This involves partners from Belgium, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK to deliver the Blue Green Infrastructure through social innovation project BEGIN.

The BEGIN project looks to find solutions which can adapt areas of urban green space to manage surface water flooding, reduce the impacts of climate change and create attractive spaces with multiple uses.