THE Environment Agency (EA) hosted a drop-in session at Christchurch Meadows to discuss their flood scheme proposals for north Reading and Caversham with the community.

The event on Wednesday (August 14) gave the public the opportunity to ask questions about the scheme and raise any concerns they had.

The agency has been designing flood scheme proposals for the north Reading and Caversham area and working closely with the public to gain feedback to refine their plans.

The preliminary designs suggest implementing a combination of flood walls, temporary barriers and embankments to reduce the risk of flooding in the area.

However, there have been concerns raised by the public.

READ MORE: Hundreds sign petition opposing Caversham flood prevention scheme.

Flood Risk Manager for the EA, Joe Cuthbertson, explained why he thinks this could be.

He said: “For a lot of people locally there just hasn’t been a major flood in living memory and for us making the case for a flood scheme is more challenging because of that.”

He explained the last major flood in the area was in 1947 but since then there have been hundreds of homes and businesses built, which would make the impact of a flood “devastating”.

He believes there is a “really significant risk” of flooding in the area and the EA “want to be ahead of the next flood, not after it”.

The opposition group, Campaign for a Better Flood Alleviation Scheme (CABFAS) formed in January with community groups, businesses and residents calling for proposals with more detail and less environmental impact.

READ MORE: Environment Agency to spend longer devising flood defence plans after criticism.

Mr Cuthbertson explained: “We are the EA with any scheme we deliver, whether it’s a flood scheme or environmental enhancement, we look to leave the environment in as good or a better state after delivery of the scheme than before.

“So we would always offset if not improve the biodiversity, so the local wildlife habitats, as well as any trees and plants that we might have to displace when we develop a scheme.

“At the end of the day, we want to deliver something that enhances the area and isn’t just a flood scheme but something that improves the area for local people and for the environment.”

The EA will be continuing to hold drop in sessions over the summer and are very open to discussions with the public.

There next will be at Christchurch Meadows by the footbridge on Thursday August 29 from 11.30-14.30am.

They will also be at Reading Pride on Saturday August 31 from 12-3.30pm.

If you want to view the proposed plans or send in an inquiry to the EA, click here.