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Godwin Ekebuisi, Jim Fletcher and Cllr Bryan Lodge on the banks of the River Don
Godwin Ekebuisi, Jim Fletcher and Cllr Bryan Lodge on the banks of the River Don

Protecting Sheffield from flooding – consultation begins

Wednesday 27 July 2016

An £83m investment programme to protect Sheffield from flooding is inviting people to have their say on the next phase of the project.

With new flood defences already under way in the Lower Don Valley, people are now being asked for their views on how to best protect the Upper Don, Sheaf and Porter valleys in efforts to prevent a repeat of the devastating Sheffield floods of 2007.

Sheffield City Council is working with the Environment Agency, businesses, flood and environmental groups across the city on one of the largest investment programmes in the country valued at £83million.

As well as protecting around 6,000 homes and 1,760 businesses, it will also protect prime brownfield land needed for new commercial and housing development, important city locations such as the railway station, vital utilities and transport routes including future transport schemes such as potential high speed rail (HS2) infrastructure.Flood_Const_2

The economic benefits of the programme include enabling development of 46 hectares of land, the potential for 15,000 new jobs, 27,000 new homes, 40 new businesses and £150million economic growth for Sheffield per year.

The options being proposed by Sheffield City Council include:

  • Flood storage areas in open space such as parks and woodland in the flood plains that will temporarily store flood water and release it slowly after a severe storm. The areas are mostly dry and can be used for recreation or wildlife habitats for the majority of the time and part of our plans is to also improve all these areas.
  • Keeping water in the river channels by building new flood defences.
  • Creating floodwater corridors by improving public spaces so floodwater can pass back to the river safely.
  • Opening up underground sections of rivers and making changes to rivers and weirs so that floodwater can pass through the city under more control
  • Rural land management on higher ground outside the city, such as tree planting and moorland restoration. This helps keep water in the upland areas to reduce flood levels during periods of high rainfall

Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We all remember the 2007 floods that caused such devastation to the city and tragically the loss of two lives.

“Sheffield City Council is committed to protecting the city from flooding. As well as protecting the city’s homes and businesses, we want to find solutions that transform Sheffield’s waterways and even create future energy from them.

“Flood protection requires a mix of approaches. Doing less of one thing such as creating flood storage areas means we may need to do more of another, such as building higher walls.

“Some of these options are sensitive, including the temporary flooding of ancient woodland and changes to some of the city’s parks which may include the removal of trees. But it’s worth stressing that these are only options, no decisions have been made, and it’s really important for people to have their say on how to protect the city from flooding in the future.”

All consultation materials and information about flood protection can be found at www.floodprotectionsheffield.com

Consultation will continue for three months until 31 October 2016 during which time the council plans to go out into the communities so that people can drop in to a local venue and speak to us should they wish.

Consultation events for the public have been scheduled for

August 25, The Dooley Suite, Sheffield Wednesday, 11am to 8pm

September 9, Millennium Hall, Ecclesall Road, 11am to 8pm.

September 21 Millhouses Methodist Church, time and date to be confirmed

September 29, Oughtibridge Chapel Hall, 11am – 6pm

Cllr Lodge added: “We are aiming to provide flood protection so that the chance of a flood occurring is no more than 1 in 200 in any given year.  At present, there is a 1 in 25 chance in any given year of parts of the city flooding from the Rivers Sheaf or Don.

“We want Sheffielders to be involved in developing these plans. We understand the sensitivity of some of the parks and woodland locations that are being put forward for temporarily storing flood water.

“Where possible as part of our plans we’re keen to also enhance Sheffield’s wonderful parks for all-year round and we’ve put forward some ideas but we would welcome more suggestions.”