Wednesday, May 30, 2018

News: £5m town centre flood defence work required


Rotherham Council is estimating that it will need to spend £2.5m - £3m on flood defence work before the redevelopment work on Forge Island can commence.

And planning permission has recently been secured for a £2.2m project at the New York Stadium site.

Having secured the land from Tesco, and surrounding land such as the law courts, the authority is anticipating that Forge Island "could accommodate a cinema, hotel, restaurants and bars, town centre parking, as well as high quality business space and modern residential opportunities."

Demolition work has been carried out and plans are now being developed for flood defences and associated public realm works along the canal frontage.

Three potential development partners are currently being assessed by the Council as it hopes to realise the key regeneration development as a joint venture.

In an update, the authority said: "It is still the intention of the Council to deliver the flood defences and associated public realm works along the canal frontage before main works are to commence on site.

"As the scheme is still in development and subject to change, final costs are still to be determined. For budget considerations, costs to implement the flood defence, including flood gates, and associated public realm enhancements along the east bank of the canal are anticipated to be in the region of £2.5 - £3 million."


Rotherham Council set aside some £17m in 2016 from its capital budgets to carry out work in the town centre.

Planning permission has recently been approved for further flood defences in the town centre - at Don Street between the New York Stadium and RMBC's Riverside House.

On an unused area of scrubland, permission has been approved for the erection of a pumping station and associated infrastructure which is required to allow Holmes Tail Goit to be isolated from the River Don at times of high river levels. The pumping station is a key element of infrastructure contained within the flood risk strategy for the New York Stadium and surrounding areas.

Prior to the construction of the stadium, which opened in 2012, issues around flood risk and the works required to develop the site were set out, both through the planning approval given and the subsequent lease granted by the Council for the land the authority acquired at the Guest & Chrimes site.

The land levels were raised by 2.5 metres using infill to reduce the risk of flooding. Retaining walls, embankments and a drainage system were also included.

In 2016, Rotherham Council agreed to put forward £1.387m for the scheme, with the company created to build the stadium, RU Estates Limited, putting in £684,000 and the Environment Agency topping it up with 212,000.

The £14m first phase of the Rotherham Flood Alleviation Scheme, aimed at reducing flood risk over a 3.5km (two-mile) stretch of the Don from Templeborough to the town centre, saw construction completed in 2008. It was hoped to continue directly into Phase 2 with further European funding but was hit by funding cut backs.

Forge Island website

Images: RUFC / RMBC


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