EMERGENCY flood work will start today in South Cerney to alleviate high water levels on the River Churn following heavy rain.

A water drainage system will be installed by South Cerney Parish Council (SCPC) in an effort to protect homes on Robert Franklin Way and Boxbrush Road.

The council plan to dig a trench the River Churn bridge at Robert Franklin Way and install lead pipes which will drain water into a nearby field.

A similar nearby trench and pipe system was installed by the council in December 2012 after heavy downpour also put homes at risk but the pipes are nearing full capacity.

During a discussion at South Cerney Parish Council meeting last night Wednesday, February 12 members of the council voted to take the action in light of more heavy rain being forecast over the coming days.

Philip Nicholas, vice chairman of South Cerney Parish Council, said: “It is inevitable that there is serious risk of many houses at the end of the village being flooded. That is an objective analysis based on the information that we all have."

The Environment Agency approved the work today after  Gloucestershire County Council Ward councillor for South Cerney, Shaun Parsons requested the work be done on behalf of SCPC.

Once the trench has been dug, the 600 mm pipes will be installed and then once the water level has gone down, more 600 mm pipes will be installed at a level that means they only take water when there is a high water flow.