City has been built to avoid worst flooding

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Milton Keynes has avoided the worst of the flooding, currently blighting the country, thanks to strategically placed balancing lakes.

A number of lakes including Furzton, Willen and Caldecote were designed along as part of the city’s conception to alleviate the amount of water running directly into rivers. Alongside these lakes are large gates, controlled by the Environment Agency and Anglian Water.

Phil Bowsher, landscape strategy manager for the Parks Trust explained: “When the lakes reach a certain level the gate is opened and water rushes into the river.

“The gate at Willen Lake, for example, acts as a big dam and the surplus capacity within the lake helps to stop the flooding becoming worse in the Ouzel in Newport Pagnell.

“Some flooding does occur but it could be worse if not for the balancing lakes. It’s better parkland gets flooded than houses.”

Mr Bowsher also explained water management was part of the plans put forward by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation and said newer developments, including Oxley Park, features a balancing lake to help prevent flooding.