Monday, February 10, 2020

News: £51m needed to protect Rotherham homes and businesses from flooding

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Rotherham Council has identified a pipeline of projects that are required to protect the borough from flooding. It just doesn't yet have the £51m needed to implement all of them.

With households and businesses still mopping up after flooding caused by heavy rainfall in November 2019, cabinet members are due to receive an update on its Major Incident Plan (MIP) and on future flood alleviation projects.

Several flood alleviation projects have been completed and funded since the June 2007 floods, most notably around Templeborough and the town centre, but future phases have stalled due to a lack of funding.

To support regeneration in Rotherham town centre, flood works are well underway at Forge Island. £4.1m of council funding has been ringfenced already for this work which is necessary to help deliver the full Forge Island scheme, which will include a cinema, food and drink outlets, a hotel, and a car park, with the new leisure facilities set within an attractive public space and a new pedestrian bridge connecting to the wider town centre.

Another project progressing is around the New York Stadium and council offices at Riverside House, but budgets have risen. A condition of the stadium construction is the construction of a sluice gate and pump station to ensure that increased river levels do not cause flooding to occur behind the flood barriers.

The work should protect areas such as the railway (Rotherham Central was closed again due to flooding in November), Centenary Way and sites adjacent to the canal, including electrical supplies to central Rotherham.

The total cost of the project, on the books since 2012, has gone up to £2.62m from initial estimates of £1.7m, with the Council expected to foot the bill for a further £1.1m. The need to replace the adjacent highway bridge has also been identified to an estimated value of £934,076. A canal barrier at Forge Island is also required.

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The council has begun lobbying the Government for funding and town centre projects could be included in the bid for the Government's Future High Streets Fund.

Cllr. Emma Hoddinott gave an update at the recent full council meeting, saying: "There was a number of areas around the borough that did flood [in November 2019] and indeed there are schemes that we want to put in place in terms of flood defences to protect those places in the future.

"Both the leader [Chris Read] and the mayor of the city region [Dan Jarvis] have been raising this. We need the funding from the Government to put these flood defences in place. The ask from Rotherham is £51m. We know the works that need to be done. We need that funding in Rotherham now in order to start those works."

To complete the the £24m town centre flood alleviation scheme, the next area, which does not yet have any funding, includes downstream phases from Forge Island to Parkgate, and Kilnhurst.

Specifically at Parkgate, which also suffered flood damage where flooding comes from multiple sources (e.g. River Don, watercourses and Yorkshire Water systems), around £10m would be required to create large upstream storage areas in rural areas on Wentworth Estates land and localised capacity improvements in urban areas. An additional £4m is required to address flooding issues on the main road network.

At Catcliffe, an area synonymous with the 2007 floods, council officers have identified that £5m would be required to create a permanent pumping station.

Another badly affected area, Templeborough, needs £1m to upgrade the road network and improve drainage.

Another key area is Whiston Brook where £4m is needed to create large storage areas upstream of the village. £3m is also required to address flooding issues around Dinnington and Laughton Common at Eel Mires Dike. Smaller scale work at the Pit House West site has already earmarked £50k of council funding to alleviate a potential high flooding risk for an adjacent housing estate and main railway line.

A council report states: "Several flood alleviation projects have been completed and funded since the June 2007 floods. Several more projects have been identified utilising the current levels of Council funding that is available to the Drainage team, and these are at various stages of development, including some at inception stage, some in their pre-construction stage and one at construction stage.

"Significant funding is needed to deliver the high priority projects which the Council believes are required, with initial estimates being that £51m of external funding is needed."



Images: Don Catchment Rivers Trust / twitter

1 comments:

Anonymous,  February 10, 2020 at 5:49 PM  

Maybe a large marina type development, similar to the Bayford pool development in Lincoln Town centre would help with flooding problem, Lincoln never seems to flood, even though it as a river and canal right in centre. A marina would also be a pleasant addition to Rotherham too. Think the canal and river is overlooked in Rotherhams economy, many towns would love a riverside through there town, yet Rotherham doesn't make the most of it. Should look at places like Lincoln and York as a guide.

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