I AM writing in response to a number of letters published in the Echo about our new headquarters and the recent storms which hit the UK.

Over the weekend of February 15 and 16, the River Wear burst its banks in the severe weather at several locations in Durham City, including a very small part of our HQ construction site.

We wish to make it clear that the area which flooded is not where the HQ building will be located. The area which flooded will ultimately form part of a riverside walkway. Also, it is worth noting that ground levels in the affected area had been temporarily lowered to allow construction work to take place.

Kier, which is building our HQ, has plans in place for adverse weather which have been approved by the Environment Agency. These ensured it was ready for the forecasted storms Ciara and Dennis and that there was no disruption to the construction programme from either.

The HQ building has been carefully designed with an appreciation that River Wear may burst its banks.

It is being built on a raised plateau and its ground floor will be the same level as that in both the existing National Savings and Investments (NS&I) and HM Passport buildings.

This is several metres above the level of flooding experienced at the weekend. The building will also sit atop underground tanks which will take water and slowly release it should the river burst its banks, while a flood barrier system will stop it getting onto the HQ’s public spaces and land between the site and the NS&I building.

To be clear, the weather we experienced at the weekend would not have affected the building or had any operational impact.

By moving to a smaller, more affordable HQ we are paving the way for a new multi-million-pound business district at Aykley Heads, creating up to 6,000 new high quality jobs and delivering a £400 million boost to the county.

We are also bringing 1,000 workers into the heart of Durham City and relocating approximately 850 to office sites in Crook, Meadowfield, Seaham and Spennymoor, providing an economic boost to businesses in the city centre and our towns.

Susan Robinson, head of Corporate Property and Land, Durham County Council.