A HOUSING estate for over-60s in Darwen is to have almost £100,000 spent on it to reduce the risk of flooding.

Residents in Bowling Green Close have been hit by floods on a number of occasions since the estate was built more than two decades ago.

But the Environment Agency, along with nearby metal fabrication firm WEC, will fund work to a culvert behind the estate.

Whitehall councillor David Foster said the culvert running under the estate had a number of right-angles and when debris got caught in it there could be major blockages.

Coun Foster said: “There was major flooding eight years ago and it turned out a massive tree trunk had got into the culvert.

“I have also been told that items like plastic chairs have been found in there.

“The main aspect of this work will see a metal grille put over the entrance to the culvert to stop things like this getting in again.”

As well as the grille, an access path to the entrance will be built so it can be monitored regularly.

The Environment Agency agreed to meet 90 per cent of the cost of work, which will be put out to tender soon.

The final 10 per cent will be met in kind by WEC owner Steve Hartley, who agreed to supply materials for the work. Coun Foster’s wife and council colleague Karimeh praised Mr Hartley for helping.

She said: “Yet again WEC has come to the aid of the community. We think he should be officially recognised in some way by the Queen for all the things he has done in Darwen.”

Bowling Green Close resident Pat Turner said the work would be welcomed by everyone on the estate.

She said: “It is absolutely wonderful this work will be done. Everyone is thrilled.

“In 2004 we were really badly flooded and I got so worked up I ended up having a heart attack and spent five weeks in hospital.

“That is how nervous you can get when it rains hard, so it is a huge relief.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We look forward to receiving the local authority’s application for this funding and are pleased to be able to be involved in a project which will benefit the community of Darwen.”