DEFENCE schemes are on track for Northwich a year on from flooding in the town centre.

After two floods in three months at the end of 2012, the Environment Agency and Cheshire West and Chester Council were offered £4 million Government funding to build defences.

But to secure the cash, construction has to start before autumn 2014.

Clr Derek Bowden gave an update on the plans at the latest town council meeting.

“It’s on schedule, should meet the deadlines and the grants are still available,” he said.

Clr Bowden explained what the Environment Agency is currently considering for the town.

“It’s likely to be a mixture of upstream storage, which means allowing floods in the Dane Valley and on both sides of the A556, and linear defences in town,” he said.

“The Environment Agency is well aware of the need for the design of linear defences – a posh word for walls – not to impair our attempts to use the river as a major attraction and facility in the town by sticking a wall alongside it.

“They’re sensitive to that and provisional plans I’ve seen so far respect that and won’t impair direct access or views of the river.”

He added: “I’ve also pointed out how pleased we are with the way the Environment Agency officers are working with us.

“They’re a model of what consultation should be.

“They ask questions then actually listen to the answers.”

Businesses and residents in the Bull Ring and Dane Street were affected by floods in September last year and then again over the Christmas period when heavy rain caused the River Dane and River Weaver to burst their banks.