WORK will start next month to protect five village homes from flooding.

Northumbrian Water is to spend £390,000 upgrading the sewer network in Shotley Bridge to reduce the risk of flooding in the village.

The company will install 100-metres of new combined sewer pipe in the area of Wood Street, Green Street and Farriers Way and build seven manholes to connect the pipes.

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Work, which will be carried out by contractor Seymour Civil Engineering, will start on Monday, March 3 and is expected to take ten weeks.

Wood Street will be completely closed to traffic for the duration of the scheme, while short sections of Farriers Way and Green Street will be reduced to a single lane for approximately two weeks and a temporary compound will be created on a nearby grassed area.

Homes directly affected by traffic restrictions will be notified about access and parking issues in advance.

Project manager Loren Jennings said: "We appreciate the upset and devastation that flooding can cause, that is why reducing the risk to customers’ homes and businesses is one of our top priorities.

"Although we appreciate there will be some disruption in the short term, we hope customers will welcome the benefits and protection the scheme brings.

"We are working closely with Durham County Council to reduce the impact of the work and will do our best to minimise any inconvenience."

Nobody from Northumbrian Water or Seymour Civil Engineering will need access to homes in the area while the work is being carried out.

Anyone who requires further advice or has any special requirements should ring Northumbrian Water on 0845 717 1100.