FLOOD victims are hoping to benefit from £400,000 of new drains being laid by Anglian Water.

The work, which is due finish next month, involves laying more than 5,500ft of pipes in Beeches Road, Rawreth, which has regularly suffered flooding in recent years.

Two new pumps will also be installed at Anglian Water’s pumping station, along with a equipment to contain sewage.

Peter Plummer, chairman of the newly-formed Rawreth Flood Action Group, lives nearby in Church Road, which has similar problems, having been flooded 19 times in the past 13 years.

He said: “It is a start, but only a start.

“If they’re laying pipes, they are just going to get blocked with silt. When it rains heavily, you can see it getting washed off fields into Watery Lane and Beeches Road.

“They need to find a way to stop that happening. Ditches and culverts also need to be cleared to re-establish the natural flood defences.”

Rawreth parish councillor Paul Beckers, of Chelmsford Road, has lived in the village all his life and said the past year’s flooding is the worst he has seen. He added: “Anything which alleviates it is good.

“Flooding has been an issue for council for many years.

Beeches Road drainage has suffered from poor maintenance for years, as the system collapsed.

“All the low-lying areas flood now, though, because the Environment Agency doesn’t clear the natural flood prevention measures in the way the local river authorities used to.”

Anglian Water’s Satnam Kaur said: “We are keen to complete work on this project as quickly as possible so residents benefit from the scheme.

“A project of this scale will, inevitably, cause some disruption and we apologise for any inconvenience. We will be doing all we can to keep inconvenience to a minimum.”

No road closures are planned during the work, but temporary traffic lights are in operation to control traffic in Beeches Road, and at the entrance to the pumping station.