A £40 million flood defence scheme in Radcliffe and Redvales, designed to protect up to 870 properties from a repeat of the devastating flooding seen on Boxing Day 2015, has been given the green light by Bury Council’s Planning Control Committee.
Led by the Environment Agency in partnership with Bury Council, the new scheme will see more than 2.5 kilometres of flood defences put in place to provide flood protection to Radcliffe and Redvales communities for the next 100 years.
The scheme, which features raised flood defences at key locations along the edge of the River Irwell, will also include the creation of new wildlife habitat, increased green spaces and amenity areas including improved sports facilities as part of the plans.
The committee heard representations from the Environment Agency before voting unanimously to agree with the recommendation to approve the application during a meeting held on Tuesday 26th March.
Councillors were told that the application is for Phase 1 of the wider scheme and that last week’s high river levels were a timely reminder of the risk that residents are still living with. This work will protect homes in some of the highest risk areas and as well as reducing the threat of flooding, the scheme will bring environmental enhancements to the community.
Councillors also heard how the Environment Agency has worked closely with local residents and other stakeholders to balance the need to reduce risk with the impact on Close Park users in particular. The scheme itself has been designed to fit in with its surroundings as best as possible, particularly through Close Park.
Approval for the scheme was granted subject to confirmation that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government does not wish to call in the application for his own determination.
Christian Wilcox, Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “Radcliffe and Redvale residents have been waiting for a number of years for increased flood protection in their community and those who still live with the trauma of the Boxing Day 2015 flood event should not be made to wait any longer to get their flood defences in place. We are therefore delighted that the planning committee has now approved the plans for the Radcliffe and Redvales Flood Alleviation Scheme.
“This £40 million investment is great news for both communities as it will allow us to better protect hundreds of homes and businesses while also bringing improved environmental and economic benefits to the areas. From the very start of the planning stage, we have worked closely with the local community and our key partners to share all of the development options and take on board local knowledge and insight which has helped to make the process feel like a real team effort. We look forward to making additional progress on the ground in the coming months and will continue to keep residents and businesses affected by our work informed about the scheme at every stage of its development.”
Preliminary works have already commenced in Close Park with a number of “low quality” trees in and around the park being removed. To help mitigate the impact this will have on the environment, extensive tree planting will take place both in Close Park and across the wider area of Radcliffe with current replacement planting standing at approximately 5:1.