Bungay and the Surrounding Area Flood Risk Management Scheme - information page

Closes 24 Aug 2024

Opened 24 Aug 2022


Welcome to the Bungay Flood Risk Management Scheme information page.

The Environment Agency have created this page to provide easy access to information on the Bungay project. We will be updating this site as the project progresses, so please keep checking back for what's new.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive updates on this project, please email nicki.china@environment-agency.gov.uk 


In December 2020 East Anglia received an exceptionally high amount of rainfall, the River Waveney area received 50mm in 18 hours, and a total of 71mm in 96 hours.

Across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk we issued Flood Alerts to 21 different areas and Flood Warnings to 16 locations during the flooding between 24 December and 2 January 2021. The flood alert for the tidal River Waveney from Ellingham to Breydon Water was in place and updated every 8 hours from 6pm on Christmas Eve to 10am on 2 January 2021.

Between 23 and 29 December 2020 flooding occurred in Bungay specifically, Bridge Street and Outney Road and in the surrounding areas which included; Ditchingham Dam, Earsham and Wainford Mill. The primary source of flooding was from the River Waveney and surrounding watercourses. 35 properties have reported experiencing internal flooding with a number of additional reports of external flooding, and potentially more impacted properties going unreported.

What's happened so far

Following the flooding that took place in December 2020 the Environment Agency began work to better understand what happened, working with County, District and Parish Councils and the local community. This included a public drop in event on 19th January where local feedback could be heard and next steps to progress the project was detailed.

Working with our flood risk consultants Jacobs, we have begun to investigate measures for managing flood risk within the area, with the aim of identifying a technically and economically viable scheme that will reduce flood risk with no adverse environmental impacts. The flood risk model for the River Waveney has been updated to help improve the understanding of flood risk in and around Bungay and this is now being used to help inform the project. 

We have drawn up a list of possible options to manage flood risk in the area and we are keen to hear your feedback.

Our initial options

The shortlist is based on initial findings and is a long list of options to consider. As a government body we have to ensure any option provides enough benefit (through economic analysis) for the cost to implement an option.  If the scheme progresses to a more detailed assessment, there is a possibility that this may rule out some of the options.

At this stage it’s important that we identify a wide range of option and assess if any are potentially viable to included within Strategic Business Case.

We want to understand the communities views and highlight any opportunities on options listed below, for us to then consider in our business case. 

More Information

Working with landowners in the Waveney Catchment to implement measures that slow the flow of water. This could be planting woodland on hills adjacent to River Waveney to delay runoff, placing leaky barriers on side channels/drains and storing small amounts of water in key locations. This option also has the potential to provide environmental benefits and create new habitats. This option would need to be delivered on a widescale and relies on landowner willingness to implement measures.

More Information

Construction of storage areas, ponds and/or reservoirs on Outney Common and/or upstream of Earsham to store excess water during storms and flood events. This option has the potential to create new habitats and enhance the amenity value of the area.

More Information

The Bungay Sluice is a structure to manage water levels in the River Waveney and is not designed to perform any flood risk management functions. This option would consider removing or modifying the sluice gate. This would need to ensure water is retained during summer months and that environmental or amenity value.

More Information

Construction of earth embankments or flood walls in key locations to protecting residential properties. Where space is limited Embankments would not be a suitable option and flood walls would be considered. This option would have a high cost and only benefit small areas.

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New culvert(s) of bigger size than existing culverts at Pirnhow Street and Wainford Road. Increasing the culvert size will improve flow through the system but may not offer significant reduction in flood risk.

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Raising the height of Earsham and Ditchingham Dam road to reduce the chance of water overtopping. No overtopping occurred during the December 2020 flooding so this option may not offer significant reduction in flood risk.

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Excavating a new channel passing through less urbanized areas to reduce impact of flooding to Bungay. This option is likely to have a high cost but could provide environmental enhancement.

More Information

This option involves making use of existing side channels and drains. These will be widened, joined or repositioned to create alternative water passage to convey excess water during storms and flood events. This could include a new channel between A143 and Ditchingham Dam road creating a connection between main river Waveney and  the Chainbridge Beck. 

More Information

Offer individual properties products to reduce the likelihood of flood water entering the property. Products include air brick covers, flood doors, barriers, pumps etc. This option will not reduce flooding to the wider area and only reduce the impact of internal flooding to individual properties.

More Information

Work with the community to increase awareness of individual flood risk. Enable the production of flood plans and support the creation of a flood action group.

Give us your views

We would like to hear you views and feedback on our long list of options. Please take a few minutes to complete our survey by clicking this link Give your views 

Next Steps

Once the survey has closed, comments and feedback on the long list of options will be collated to help inform the short list of options to be taken forwards for further development. We will continue to share updates on how the project develops.

If you have questions on the Bungay Flood Risk Management Scheme please contact us using the email address or phone number at the top of the page.



  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Fishing clubs and representative associations
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
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  • Elected representatives, including MPs
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  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Community groups
  • Flood action groups
  • Environment Agency colleagues
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  • Flood Resilience Forums


  • Flood management
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