A FLOOD prevention scheme could leave a couple worse off if the plans are given the go-ahead, it is claimed.

The River Jordan Flood Alleviation Scheme has been put forward by the Environment Agency to address the flooding that affects a number of properties along the river at Sutton Poyntz and Fisherbridge Road in Weymouth.

But for David Penny, 63, and his wife Chris, 62, the proposed scheme will mean they would experience more flooding rather than less.

Borough council committee members heard at a planning and traffic meeting how up to four times more water could flood Mr Penny’s back garden because of the way the scheme operates.

If implemented, water would be constrained to the river by walls, bank regrading, channel realignment and a surface water pumping station.

Mr Penny, who lives in Bridge Inn Lane, said: “The scheme will keep more water in the river when it’s flooding but the water has got to go somewhere else and that would be into our garden.

“As things are now, in the event of a flood the depth of the water could be half a meter but with the scheme it would go up three or four times that.

“This scheme will not benefit us at all – it would be detrimental to us.

“We do not want to oppose the scheme entirely because other people need flood protection, but we do not see why we should be disadvantaged.”

Peter Struck, designer of the scheme, said Mr Penny would only experience more flooding in extreme circumstances.

He said: “By confining and constraining the flood water, it is pushed upwards. The water that would normally flow over land and flood properties is held back behind the walls but that does have the effect of increasing levels in the channel.

“This means that the garden of this particular property will be subject to more flooding but only in extreme events.

“The house itself is not a risk.”

Philip Barlow, Environment Agency project manager of the scheme, said at the meeting: “We have a valuable opportunity to build a scheme that will protect 27 properties but to please everyone is an incredibly difficult exercise.

“Some people might not be particularly happy but we are still trying to work with them to compromise and find a solution.”

Major floods have occurred in Sutton Poyntz and Preston in 1955, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1993 and 2003.

Councillors voted unanimously to delay a decision until the next meeting when it is hoped the Environment Agency would have come up with a solution to the problem regarding Mr Penny’s property.