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Radcliffe and Redvales Flood Risk Management Scheme (FRMS) aims to reduce the flood risk from the River Irwell south of Bury and west of Radcliffe. Through partnership working with Bury Council the scheme aligns with local strategies for the area including the Bury Local Plan and Flood Risk Management Plan.
There is a long history of flooding in the area from the river overtopping its banks. The Boxing Day 2015 event resulted in flood damage to over 700 residential buildings, multiple commercial properties and critical infrastructure such as Bury Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) and electricity substations.
The area also experienced flooding during the storm Ciara extent on the weekend 9th February 2020. Properties on Warth Road, Warth Road industrial park and a property on Parkside Close flooded. The flood event also damaged the flood defence construction site compound at Close Park. The Environment Agency’s contractors, BAM Nuttall, worked quickly to construct temporary defences at Morris Street which successfully defended a number of properties from flooding.
The primary source of flood risk is fluvial flooding from the River Irwell with a 10% chance of it occurring in any one year. Surface water run-off, artificial drainage systems, reservoirs and a disused canal are also potential sources of flooding in what is a heavily urbanised part of the Irwell catchment. A partnership has been agreed with United Utilities (UU) to address the surface water and drainage issues in the area.
There are a number of different flooding locations along the Project, from upstream at Lower Hinds to Close Park:
The scheme defences have been designed with a 100 year design life and will provide protection against a flood with a 1% chance of occurring in any one year, taking into account predicted climate change increases. The envisaged scheme will reduce flood risk to 873 properties currently at risk delivering Present Value benefits of £323.8M. The flood defence is being delivered as a joint venture for BMMJV with design being delivered by Mott MacDonald and construction delivered by BAM Nuttall.
The scheme is being delivered in three phases. Phase 1 which consists of works at Close Park, Morris Street & Dumers Lane and Phase 2 works along the section of river from Bury Grammar School to Hardy’s Gate Bridge.
During the initial detailed design stage of the Radcliffe and Redvales scheme in 2017, a risk was identified that the works had the potential to increase river flows downstream during the worst-case rainfall events.
The original aim to reduce the potential, increased risk of flooding from the scheme, was to construct a flood storage area at Swan Lodge, in Radcliffe. However, it became clear through design development that constructing Swan Lodge storage area wasn’t a viable option. The Environment Agency then began to look into other options which included Natural Flood Management (NFM) in the Irwell, Roch and Croal catchments. This is known to have wider benefits than just flood risk, including environmental enhancement, future proof against climate change impacts and being a more sustainable option.
The result of this investigation found there has been some Natural Flood Management already carried out in the catchments which does alleviate some potential increased flood risk posed by the scheme. Examples of some of the Natural Flood Management works that has been carried out in the catchments include at Smithills Woodland Trust and at Holcombe Moor. This Natural Flood Management work has been carried out both by the EA and third parties.
The Environment Agency strives to do more for the community and we have identified additional sites that have the potential to be used for Natural flood Management, these would further mitigate the impacts of heavy rainfall and benefit the local communities. The project team are progressing into detailed design and landowner discussions with a view to delivering as soon as possible. For further information on Natural Flood Management please see below the following link https://thefloodhub.co.uk/nfm/
This phase is divided into two components:
Other aspects of this phase include removal of abandoned pipe bridges crossing the River Irwell in two locations on Dumers Lane.
This phase is divided into six components:
Other aspects of this phase will include Water Framework Directive (WFD) mitigation to enhance the ecological status of the River Irwell. Options for this are still being investigated by the project team and its partners.
The Environment Agency secured approval for a business case recommending a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to the Radcliffe and Redvales communities in May 2019. The project costs are part funded by Grant in Aid from Government (£24.3M). External contributions have been secured from Government Booster Funding (£7M), Local Levy (£3M) and public contributions (£2M pledged by Bury Council).
Construction on Phase 1 began in June 2019. Construction is ongoing, albeit the pace of delivery has been slowed due to the impacts of Covid 19 on the construction working methods and material supply. As of the end of April 2020:
The flood defence is water tight and properties that are better protected by Phase 1 defences are now at reduced risk of flooding.
The full flood defence is programmed to be water tight by June 2020 with landscaping, seeding and planting being completed in autumn 2020.
Construction of Phase 2 began in July 2020 and is progressing well across all components. Planning approval for the full scheme has been attained in the majority of components, work is not progressing where planning approval is outstanding. The project team are working together with the contractors to ensure operations can safely be progressed in light of the current Government restrictions with Covid-19.
Works at Warth Road Industrial Park are largely complete with the defence coping and cladding being installed and the defence being tied into Warth Road bridge in June.
The defence behind Central Avenue and Keswick Drive has been progressing well. The concrete wall at Warth Road has been poured and tied into the bridge. The sheet piled defence has been clad in timber trellis and the cedar coping added. The area is now being reinstated and seeded – there are also plans for trees to be planted in the area.
At Redvales Business Park, the defences are largely complete. Back of wall drainage and other finishing works are complete and many of the areas where construction works have been carried out are being handed back to the landowners. The design for the tie in to Hardy’s Gate Bridge is being altered slightly before construction.
Construction works at the Chemical Works are nearing completion. The sheet piled defence is at the final stages of being complete. As with the previous area, the tie in to Hardy’s Gate Bridge is subject to minor design changes. The concrete wall that will tie into the high ground on the York Street development site is complete.
Works will soon begin on the flood defence bund across the York Street development site. This will ensure the community is protected from flooding prior to the wider redevelopment of the site.
An email address has been set up specifically for the Radcliffe and Redvales Flood Risk Management project that can be used for any queries or comments in regards to this project: RadcliffeRedvales.FRMS@environment-agency.gov.uk.
If you are outside the flood area and would like to be kept up to date with the Radcliffe and Redvales Flood Risk Management Scheme via email, please email FloodResilienceGMMC@environment-agency.gov.uk to be added to the mailing list. They aim to send regular updates as well as quarterly newsletters, and information on when they are holding community drop-ins.
If you would like more information about flood risk, you can email: FloodResilienceGMMC@environmentagency.gov.uk.
Visit Bury Council’s website for flood risk information: www.bury.gov.uk/flooding-advice.
You can also follow the Environment Agency on Twitter: @EnvAgencyNW