The Environment Agency is delivering a £54.7m Flood Risk Management Scheme to better protect homes, schools, and businesses along parts of the River Ribble. The Scheme will improve the local environment and community amenities too. Construction in Broadgate and Riverside, and Lower Penwortham will be the first phase. Further works will take place in Walton le Dale, Frenchwood and Fishwick, and Higher Walton.
For a complete overview of the Flood Risk Management Scheme, click the link below to download a copy of the Design and Benefits Guide. It explains how the scheme will be delivered, what will be constructed, the benefits of the scheme, and what the community can expect during construction.
The flood defences will be a combination of raised flood embankments, walls, and walls with glass panels. Below are some examples of potential materials, finishes, and styles. You can click on the images to enlarge.
The design of the Flood Risk Management Scheme will be sympathetic to the local area. All the flood walls will be built and finished in a way that is appropriate for the existing buildings and landscape.
The finishes for the flood defence walls have been agreed with Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council, and South Ribble Borough Council. The walls will be made predominantly from pre-cast concrete and, in places, topped with glass panels.
Glass panels will be used where wall heights exceed 1.4m, and in residential areas where existing properties already have an unobstructed view of the river. The panels will allow residents to continue to enjoy the view over the river. The panels are an integral part of the flood defences.
The glass is ‘self-cleaning’ to provide the best finish. The frames will be as thin as possible (typically 4-9cm) with supporting pillars of around 16cm. The frames are part of the defences and need to be strong to withstand the forces of flood water.
The frames will be powder-coated black to match street furniture and flood gates.
Four new flood gates will be installed as part of the scheme. The flood gates are recessed between pillars, so they are out of the way when not required. The gates will remain open during normal times and will be closed by the Environment Agency in the event of weather warnings and the risk of flooding.
Redi-rock embankments will be used in Areas 1 and 2 to make the riverbank more stable where required. The embankments are made from pressed concrete with an attractive cobblestone finish, the design includes a recess within each block for planting. The embankments will then ‘green up’ over time with vegetation and this will soften the look of the blocks.
It is important that the Preston & South Ribble Flood Risk Management scheme is inclusive. The design team has worked carefully to ensure everyone’s needs are considered. Examples of inclusive design include:
Together with Lancashire County Council, we are identifying locations where we can create, improve, or connect into footpaths and cycle ways as part of the scheme.
Click here to download the poster
In Penwortham, the Environment Agency is working with South Ribble Borough Council to enhance the Ribble Sidings area to create a wetland habitat. It will cover 0.35 hectares and include:
The existing footpaths and play area will be remain in place, and an area of amenity grassland will also be retained for informal recreation.
Broadgate Gardens will be restored with a mix of fruit trees, ornamental shrubs, and amenity grassland for local residents to enjoy. There will be a seating area in the centre with additional ornamental shrubs and bulbs.
The Environment Agency will also restore the riverside viewing platform, which will include new seating.
Tree maintenance and removal was completed along areas 1 and 2, prior to the bird nesting season in 2021. Areas 3, 4 and 5 will be subject to surveys of existing trees and consultation with partners. The public has asked for trees to be reused where possible in the design of the scheme for natural habitat creation and benches.
The Environment Agency is committed to planting over 16,000 trees across the scheme and is working closely with partners to identify the best locations. This includes linking in with South Ribble Borough Council’s “Plant 110,000 trees” programme.
Proposals for replacement and compensatory planting, as well as landscaping and biodiversity requirements, are detailed with the Environmental Masterplans as part of the Planning Application submission.
A range of ecological surveys have been undertaken to inform and support the proposed scheme. The scheme encompasses habitats associated with the urban location along the River Ribble for Areas 1 and 2, i.e. grasslands, tree lines, roads, bridges, and pedestrianised areas.
Surveys paid particular attention to the otters present in the River Ribble and to local bat activity.
Work in the river is restricted to between June and January to avoid impacting coarse fish, smelt (small fish), and eels present in the River Ribble.
Habitat creation works have been proposed at Fishwick Bottoms and Ribble Sidings to compensate for tree loss due to the scheme.
To download the resource below about the ecology in areas 1 and 2, click here.
Local residents are fortunate enough to see otters in the River Ribble. The photos below show a mother and youngster feeding on a large eel, which was probably longer than the two of them put together! Thank you to local resident Greg for the photos.
Some of the flood defences are next to historic structures such as the Penwortham Old Bridge. Care will be taken when construction is happening in these areas. Some stone markers of historical interest will be removed to protect them while construction is ongoing, and they will be restored to same locations on completion of the flood defences.