Rotherham Council is attempting to accelerate plans for major flood alleviation projects to protect hundreds of homes, businesses and infrastructure in the borough’s worst flood-hit areas.
In budget proposals approved by the Council’s Cabinet on 15 February, it was recommended that £5.8m is allocated from the capital programme to carry out pre-construction design and approval work for six flood alleviation schemes in the borough.
The schemes are:
- Rotherham to Kilnhurst
- Parkgate & Rawmarsh
- Whiston Brook
- Eel Mires Dike at Laughton Common
- Catcliffe permanent pumping station
- Culvert renewal programme
The work will move the schemes forward and achieve ‘shovel ready’ status, which will put them in prime position to attract the remaining funding required from Government to implement the schemes.
The Council has been working alongside Sheffield City Regional Mayoral Combined Authority and the Environment Agency to lobby the Government for flood defence funding after the area was devastated by flooding in November 2019.
In total, the South Yorkshire Priority Flood Programme is made up of 27 schemes and requires £271m in funding – £52m of which is required to deliver the Rotherham projects.
Councillor Emma Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety at Rotherham Council said: “The threat of flooding continues to create great anxiety and stress for many communities across Rotherham. The flooding of 2007 and 2019, and several ‘near misses’, have left people traumatised, with some households and businesses unable to insure their properties.
“To design and plan major schemes like these is very expensive, but it has to be done before physical work can take place. By making this further investment locally we reiterate our commitment to prevent a repeat of the flooding we’ve seen in recent years – but we still really need the government to step up to and make the full delivery of all these schemes possible.”
Rotherham Council has invested over £17m delivering flood defence schemes since the June 2007 floods along the River Don corridor. Future investment of a further £9m is already being delivered, including a new flood wall on Forge Island, a new Canal Barrier and new flood defences upstream of the New York Stadium. All of these projects will further reduce the risk of flooding to Rotherham Town Centre.
Since the winter storms of 2019, the Council has also delivered small and medium sized works in 48 locations where flooding has occurred to homes, businesses, and strategic roads. The works, totalling £100,000, have included the installation of new road gullies, cleansing to watercourses, CCTV, cleansing and repairs to culverts and highway drains. These schemes have all been delivered by in-house staff to reduce flood risk and this work will continue for a further 12 months.