A market town is stepping up work to increase flood resilience after more than 30 homes were flooded during storms last year. 

Needham Market residents have expressed their interest in the creation of a flood resilience group and have announced a meeting will be held at Needham Market Community Centre on Saturday, March 23 at 10am.

It follows a well-attended flooding public meeting earlier this month, attended by representatives from the Environment Agency and Suffolk County Council.

The town was devastated by Storm Babet last October, which saw a major incident declared across Suffolk, with 37 properties in the town initially flooded, with further flooding occurring since.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The recent flooding incidents in Needham Market have undoubtedly impacted the local community, and our thoughts go to all those affected.

“The Environment Agency, in close collaboration with Suffolk County Council, is actively engaged in a comprehensive investigation into the causes and implications of the flooding. Our ongoing efforts include thorough inspections of assets, meticulous data collection on flood occurrences, and a systematic review of our flood warning protocols.

“We are dedicated to working hand in hand with our partners and the affected communities to gain a thorough understanding of the flood’s extent, facilitating informed decisions to aid in recovery and mitigate future risks.

“As part of our proactive measures, we are set to commence the installation of Property Flood Resilience measures in 24 properties in the coming months. Additionally, we are committed to reaching out individually to the other recently flooded properties.”

Environment Agency officers visited Needham Market in October and November to assess the damage, carry out channel maintenance to the River Gipping and its tributaries known as the Orchardgate.

Even before Storm Babet, there had been plans for property flood resilience measures, such as waterproof flood doors and air brick covers to individual properties, because of the high-risk of flooding in the area.

A full report by the Environment Agency and Suffolk County Council is due to be published soon.

The county council is also preparing to open applications for grants of up to £5,000 for domestic and commercial property owners to help fund flood protection measures.