RELIEF is finally on the way for residents hit by persistent flooding from Hockley Woods thanks to a huge Government grant.

Residents have raised concerns that flood water from Hockley Woods could reach their homes after repeated issues with flooding during torrential downpours.

Now, Essex County Council has been awarded a slice of a £25 million Government funding pot to install "leaky dams" in the Rochford Council-owned woods.

The dams will be made of natural wood and will temporarily hold back water to slow the flow of it, reducing the risk of flooding.

Chris Stanley, councillor responsible for the environment, said: “There is an issue with flooding at the back of Hockley Woods. It’s something we’re looking into as to how to deal with it.

“At the moment, it has not encroached into people’s properties, but flooding has had an impact on people’s gardens and service roads.

“We do get flooding in torrential rain, as most places do. When we had consistent rain recently, it came to a near miss, but it was under control.

“We’ve had a couple of incidents which have been brought to our attention and we’ve dealt with it through the authority we’ve got.

“Having said that, I believe we’ve had the wettest February for some time.”

“We’re always in contact with residents and will bring concerns to the attention of the officers dealing with it.”

Tourism councillor Julie Gooding says flooding forced her walking group to avoid the woods at the weekend.

She said: “As a walking group, we usually go through the woods, but the water was so deep that we had to change our route. I’m glad we avoided it.

“It’s a fantastic resource, with such a wealth of history. Henry VIII is known to have been through there.

“If it needs an injection of funding, I welcome that wholeheartedly.”

Floods Minister Robbie Moore said: “It’s vital we use nature as an ally in our work to become ready for climate change, helping to restore the natural environment and protecting homes and businesses. That’s why we’re funding the biggest-ever investment in natural flood management, and it’s great to see the huge demand.”