West Berkshire Council passed plans to build a five metre-wide bund to the north of Wintringham Way in Purley — six months after around 70 homes were hit by the floods.

The plans were discussed by the Environment Agency at a public meeting organised by Reading West MP Alok Sharma in March and work was due to begin on Tuesday.

Mr Sharma said: “It has taken a lot of prodding and even a bit of screaming from me, but I am delighted that we now have the green light for works to start. After severe flooding over many years my Purley constituents will be relieved that a scheme is finally being delivered which I hope will help to alleviate some of the impact of flooding on homes.”

Work has already been completed on a pumping platform by River Gardens, which will help prevent erosion of the riverbank and allows pipes to be secured firmly in place during flooding.

When Labour leader Ed Miliband visited Purley in February, he described the floods as “dreadful” and vowed “lessons must be learned”.

Purley Parish Council vice-chairman, Councillor Bernard Nix, said: “We, in the lower village, welcome the news that the bund is to go ahead at last.

“We recognise that it is not a full solution to our flooding problems, but it will go some way to protect the eastern end of the village, and in particular enable the road to remain open longer. We appreciate the efforts of Alok on our behalf, without which I am sure we would still be trying to get action taken.”