A MULTI-MILLION pound bid to fund new flood defences in the centre of Poole is being drawn-up by BCP Council.

Its cabinet will be asked to green light a request for about £12 million for work aimed at reducing the risk of flooding around West Quay Road, Old Town and parts of the town centre.

A report says the measures could be “the catalyst” for redevelopment of the area.

Plans drawn-up by the council are for new tidal defences stretching from Poole Bridge to just south of the junction of Holes Bay Road and Sterte Avenue West.

Later this month, cabinet members will be asked to approve the submission of a bid to the Environment Agency to cover the forecast £12 million cost of the project.

It follows concerns that existing measures are not good enough with defences in some areas “being overtopped on a simple high spring tide”.

“Poole town centre is at considerable flood risk which will increase over time with the effects of climate change,” a report published ahead of the September 30 meeting says. “Recent schemes have been completed from Baiter to Poole Bridge, delivered by both the Environment Agency and Poole Harbour Commissioners.

“However, the area remains at risk due to the ageing infrastructure between Poole Bridge and Hunger Hill.”

It has been forecast that should no improvements be made future damages would cost up to £161 million to repair.

The report adds that the previous approach of improving flood defences through both public and private redevelopment “has not provided the required level of investment”.

Instead, the latest combined scheme has been put together by the council in liaison with affected landowners.

It will see flood defences increased in height by about 3.6m with further increases planned for 2071 and 2105.

The report says the work will be consistent with future measures on the opposite side of Backwater Channel with quay wall heights and walkway designs matched.

Cabinet members will be asked to approve the submission of the funding bid and that the defences be adopted by the council upon their completion.