Major flood scheme construction gets underway in Radcliffe and Redvales

5 Jul 2019 11:46 AM

A sod cutting ceremony marked the launch of a flood scheme which will protect more than 800 homes and local businesses.

Construction is gathering pace on the major flood scheme in Radciffe and Redvales with works on the ground now starting for Phase 1 in Close Park, Dumers Lane and Morris Street.

To celebrate the significant developments, the Environment Agency and Bury Council carried out a sod cutting ceremony on Thursday 4 July, to mark progression into the main construction of the first phase.

The ceremony was performed by Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, Peter Costello, Councillor Rishi Shori and Councillor Alan Quinn of Bury Council and Radcliffe Councillor Rhyse Cathcart.

The scheme, costing £40 million, is part of the Environment Agency’s programme of £2.6 billion investment into flood defences across the country. The scheme, which will be delivered in two parts, will reduce the risk of flooding to over 800 local homes and businesses across Radcliffe and Redvales. It will also help keep transport routes and infrastructure open during times of flood, maintaining vital links in an area that was severely affected by flooding in December 2015.

The formal start to the first phase of the scheme was coupled with a guided walk of the site where the flood defences will eventually be placed. Once completed, this phase of the scheme, will see a 2.5m flood wall built at the rear of properties in Parkside Close, and a 3m-high earth embankment on the far side of the park with football pitches acting as a natural floodplain.

Work in Close Park will also include the creation of new wildlife habitat and increased amenity areas for the public.

Peter Costello, Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, said:

It was an honour to break ground on such an important investment in Radcliffe and Redvales. Historically, flooding has had a devastating effect on people in both communities and this complex and significant scheme will ensure that flood defences in Radcliffe and Redvales provide the best standard of protection to local residents for many decades to come

The scheme itself is a perfect example of the value of partnership working but also how when we are designing and building these incredible structures, we can regenerate the natural environment and public spaces while still making communities more flood resilient for the future.

Councillor Rishi Shori, leader of Bury Council, said:

It was a pleasure to be at the ground-breaking today for the new £40 million flood defences in Radcliffe and Redvales, which the council is contributing towards.Storm Eva caused unprecedented devastation, forcing hundreds of local families out of their homes on Boxing Day, with many not able to return for months. This major scheme will give extra protection to our communities and we look forward to the work being completed.

Radcliffe Councillor, Rhyse Cathcart was one of the many who were flooded out of their homes by Storm Eva, and is part of the Radcliffe and Redvales Flood Action Group.

He said:

I want to say ‘thank you’ on behalf of the community – this is an important day for us. It will give people peace of mind knowing that the flood defences are going in.

Designs for phase two of the scheme, which will include a combination of traditional walls and embankments along with new wetland habitat, are continuing. The planning application for Phase 2 will be submitted by the Environment Agency in September 2019 with construction to follow on from the completion of Phase 1.

During construction of Phase 1, Environment Agency staff will be available to speak to about progress at regular community drop-ins to be held in Close Park.