New maps that show the risk of flooding in Salisbury mean emergency services are better prepared to protect the city.
New research, advances in technology and data from the 2013/14 flood will help the Environment Agency decide what forms of flood defence scheme will be best to reduce the risk of flooding.
For most of central Salisbury there has been little change from previously published flood maps, with some areas decreasing in flood risk. However, there are some locations where flood outlines have increased and a greater number of residential and commercial properties are now shown to be at risk.
This is because the flood maps now show greater detail about how Salisbury reacts to flooding, but not a rise in actual flood risk.
Ron Curtis of the Environment Agency said:
While the maps show larger areas, this is not an increase in flood risk as such, but an increase in our understanding of how flooding can occur in Salisbury.
We recognise the impact these changes will have on people and businesses and are working with Wiltshire Council to explore what can be done to reduce this risk in the future.
Work is already underway with Wiltshire Council on a scheme to reduce the flood risk to areas alongside the Summerlock Channel and River Avon as well as other parts of the city centre. These works are proposed alongside the regeneration scheme at the Maltings and Central Car Park area.
Jonathon Seed, portfolio polder for flooding, Wiltshire Council, said:
It is important the council considers every opportunity to reduce the risk of flooding and we are pleased to be working with the Environment Agency on these schemes which are essential for the long-term future of Salisbury.
The council is also looking to address the risk of flooding through the Salisbury Central Area Framework. This not only ensures future developments are protected against flooding, but provides us with a great opportunity to improve leisure and recreational uses as well as ecology and biodiversity enhancements providing a much better environment for all.
Councillor Derek Brown, who is the lead councillor for flooding for Salisbury City Council, said:
The council is working closely with the Environment Agency and others to understood the flooding risk in the city so that we are better able to respond if there is a flood.
The new information will be invaluable to our volunteer flood wardens working in the city. If you would like to know more about this role, please do get in contact with the council.
If an extreme flood is forecast, the Environment Agency has plans to use temporary defences in Salisbury and will be trialling these with the military and fire service next month.
Flood warning areas will be updated over the coming months and residents and business are encouraged to sign up for flood warnings or contact