A £1 million scheme to improve flood defences on the Tyne will cause minimal disruption to a popular footpath, a county councillor has assured.

Northumberland County Council has issued a notice that it intends to make an order to prohibit the use of the footpath between the north-east side of Dilston Bridge, along the Tyne to the car park near Corbridge bridge. The order will be in place from December 7, for a period of six months.

The closure was requested by the Environment Agency "in the interests of public safety to facilitate the repair and augmentation of the flood embankment and retaining wall."

Coun. Nick Oliver, who represents Corbridge, met with the council's countryside officer Tim Fish and the project Manager from BAM Construction, which is carrying out the work.

He said: "I’m pleased to report that the Council are working closely with the Environment Agency and BAM Construction to minimise the disruption to this popular walk.

"The work is mainly at the Dilston end and we are not anticipating any total closure of the this footpath.

"The work will be done in sections. On occasion walkers may need to climb down off the dyke and walk around but access will not be closed totally.

"I’m grateful that everybody is proactively working together whilst this important scheme is delivered."

The work comes five years after Storm Desmond caused devastation at Corbridge and the wider Tyne Valley.

Hexham Courant: An aerial view shows the damage caused by Storm Desmond at Station Road, in Corbridge.An aerial view shows the damage caused by Storm Desmond at Station Road, in Corbridge.

The Environment Agency has explained what work will be carried out.

Tristan Drought, Flood and Coastal Risk Management Team Leader at the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “Over the next few weeks the Environment Agency will begin work on a £1 million project to strengthen our existing flood defences upstream of the main bridge in the heart of Corbridge.

"This will include the reconstruction of the old defence wall located at the point where the River Tyne meets Devil’s Water.

“This essential work will maintain the current defence wall bringing it in-line with the same standards as other key flood defences in the area as part of our capital investment programme.

"Together with the repairs undertaken over the past five years to existing Environment Agency flood defences following Storm Desmond, this will provide a consistent measure of defence to the local community and continue to maintain the same level of protection to nearly 40 properties.

“The public footpath along Devil’s Water and Dilston Haugh will remain closed for up to six-months to ensure the safety of pedestrians whilst work is completed.”