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Padiham is a small town in the Borough of Burnley, Lancashire. It is situated alongside the River Calder and a smaller watercourse, Green Brook. Padiham flooded significantly on 26 December 2015 when the River Calder reached a record water level of 3.45m at the river gauge by the Station Road Bridge. 149 properties were reported as flooded.
Flooding again occurred on 9 February 2020 during Storm Ciara. Water levels on the River Calder were lower than in 2015 (2.9m) and property level resilience (e.g. floodgates) have been installed on buildings since the last floods. The flooding in Padiham causes significant impacts to residential homes, businesses, public buildings and infrastructure in the town.
The Environment Agency, Burnley Borough Council and partners have been working together to develop proposals for a Padiham Flood Risk Management Scheme. This includes flood walls and earth embankments as well as modifications to highways.
The proposals will better protect over 160 homes, businesses, public buildings and key infrastructure in central Padiham. It will manage flood risk from the River Calder, Green Brook and surface water.
This is a one-time opportunity to deliver flood defences for Padiham. It is critical that the designs are undertaken correctly so that the defences are high standard. This will best protect the town in to the future against the predicted increased flood impacts caused by climate change.
The initial funding was secured in 2017-18. The Environment Agency, Burnley Borough Council and partners have been working continually since then to develop proposals for the Padiham Flood Risk Management Scheme. This has included, but has not been limited to, flood modelling, site and ground investigations, environmental assessments, topographic surveys, community and landowner consultations, outline designs and securing further funding to pay for additionally identified work.
The detailed civil engineering designs are currently in progress and are due for completion in early spring 2021. The legally required planning, consents, agreements and approvals will then be confirmed allowing for a target construction start date in late summer 2021.
Site investigations will take place over winter-spring 2021 to better inform our understanding of existing walls and old mines in the area. Further information related to these site works will be released at a later date. Specific landowners will be contacted directly.
Gravel is monitored under Padiham Bridge (River Calder) and at Shakespeare Street Bridge (Green Brook). Clearance has and will continue to take place as required at these locations.
Invasive Non-Native Species treatment of Japanese Knotweed is taking place in Padiham between summer 2020 and summer 2021, in preparation for the flood defence construction.
*Disclaimer: Timelines are indicative and based on the current best estimate programme.
The Environment Agency continue to improve and offer a Flood Warning Service. Forecasts and gauges are continually monitored and Flood Alerts and Warnings are issued for the River Calder and Green Brook as necessary. Community members at risk of flooding are encouraged to sign-up for these at https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings
More information regarding flood resilience can be found at https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/what-to-do-in-a-flood
Coronavirus statement from the Environment Agency:
The Government has confirmed that construction activities cam continue to operate during the current Coronavirus pandemic. To support the continued delivery of this we are working very closely with our delivery contractors to ensure they are working to the guidelines published and enforced by Public Health England.
It is vitally important that all of our pre-construction activities operating during this period ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimise the risk of spread of infection. The measures that Public Health England have put in place ensures consistent measures on all sites of all sizes, especially recommendations around social distancing.
If an activity cannot be undertaken due to a lack of suitably qualified personnel being available or social distancing being implemented, it should not take place. We will ensure that our staff and contractors workforces at every opportunity are implementing Government guidance to protect them, their colleagues, their families and the UK population as a whole.
Undoubtedly, the Coronavirus has had huge impacts on our daily home and working lives and this has and will result in some delays to us delivering Flood Risk Management Schemes across the Country. These delays are particularly linked to supply chain delays, the ability of us mobilising and deploying people, access to equipment and materials as well as ensuring we can work in public places safely. We continue to progress the development of the Padiham Flood Risk Management Scheme following the guidance provided by the Government. Our activities within Padiham will strictly follow the guidance which can be viewed online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/construction-and-other-outdoor-work
The Environment Agency, Burnley Borough Council and partners have been working together to develop proposals for a Padiham Flood Risk Management Scheme. This includes flood walls and earth embankments as well as modifications to highways. A coordinated approach is being pursued with the Public Realm works along Burnley Road.
The proposals will better protect over 160 homes, businesses, public buildings and key infrastructure in central Padiham. The proposals will manage flood risk from the River Calder, Green Brook and surface water. The defences will manage floods up to a similar size as the one in Dec 2015.
The work will also include additional environmental, biodiversity and amenity improvements. Riverside footpaths will still be open to views of the River Calder. The defences are closely linked to local growth and regeneration, working with the ‘Northwest Burnley Growth Corridor’ and ‘Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’.
Please note, full artist impressions will be created and shared as part of the designs. The basic cross-sectional plans are only intended to help visualise the defence and footpath arrangements.
£6 million was secured to design and deliver the original outline proposals produced in 2017-18.
During the design stage in 2018-19, further required work was identified to ensure that a high level of protection is provided. This increased the costs to £9 million.
The Environment Agency and Burnley Borough Council secured the additional investments including £700,000 from the European Regional Development Fund, £1.3 million from the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and £2 million of direct Government growth funding announced in July 2020.
The design and construction contractors have been confirmed and the additional funding will help to ensure that construction can start at the earliest possible date following the completion of the designs.
Padiham Flood Scheme Overview March 2021
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Risk to life: 999
Non-life threatening flood risks: 101
Reporting flood incidents: 0345 988 1188 (Environment Agency’s ‘Floodline’)
Reporting environmental incident (e.g. pollution): 0800 80 70 60 (Environment Agency)
Report highway flood issue: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/roads-parking-and-travel/report-it/ (Lancashire County Council)
Report public sewer flood issues: 0345 672 3723 (United Utilities)