HOMEOWNERS and businesses across Winchester are set to receive a major cash boost following the recent spell of extreme weather.

City councillors met last Wednesday (March 19) agreeing to a range of schemes that will see residents and business owners able to claim for losses endured during one of the wettest winters on record.

Residents will be able to claim as much as £5,000 under the Repair and Renew Grants Scheme, which will help to pay for improvements to prevent future flooding, as well as claim back on council tax with the Council Tax Flooding Discount Scheme.

At the moment this scheme is aimed at houses that have been directly affected but the Government is currently deciding if houses used for temporary relocation can also be considered.

Cllr James Byrnes said: “Littleton was amongst some of the worst places to be hit. A number of properties were abandoned and I particularly welcome this scheme.

“For all the encouraging signs so many of my residents have found their return to normal living some way off. Residents have been forced to spend huge amounts of money buying pumps etc. It’s only right that we lead the way.”

Business owners will be able to reclaim losses through the Business Rates Flooding Relief – which will provide 100 per cent relief on rates for a three month period regardless for how long the property has been affected – as well claiming against the Business Support Scheme, a grant available to small and medium business which have suffered directly or indirectly to support the implementation of recovery plans.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey said: “Any businesses affected by the flooding will qualify for a monetary relief of business rates to help them recover; to help them get back on their feet. We are very keen that these schemes are made available as soon as possible and therefore we have quite a tight timescale for those affected.”

Chairman Keith Wood said: “Winchester was ahead of the game in a way and the reason why was because the council did in fact get its act together before the floods hit.

“Council staff handled it all incredibly well, often without pay, and we will be thanking them with a special reception.”