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Rochdale and Littleborough Flood Risk Management Scheme – Littleborough Phase 1

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The River Roch, Rochdale and Littleborough Flood Risk Management Scheme (FRMS) seeks to address the high level of flood risk to the towns of Rochdale and Littleborough in Greater Manchester.

The towns have a long history of flooding with significant events recorded in 1991, 1995, 2008 and 2015. On the 26th and 27th December 2015, 324 properties were flooded during Storm Eva. The flood exceeded the previous highest recorded levels along the River Roch, causing widespread damage and disruption in the area. More recently there was flooding in the towns in March 2019, July 2019, November 2019 and 9th February 2020 (Storm Ciara). Several flood warnings for the River Roch at Littleborough and Rochdale were issued during Storm Christoph during January 2021.

The steep catchment and multiple tributaries cause the River Roch to respond rapidly to rainfall with river levels rising quickly. The urbanised river valley has an industrial heritage with a legacy of modified channels, bridges, culverts and weirs which further exacerbate the flooding problem.


River Roch in Rochdale



Key Programme Dates

Milestone Start
Phase 1A Planning Application Approved May 2020
Enabling Works Construction Start at Gale March 2021
Culvert Construction under the Railway at Gale October 2021
Planning Application Littleborough Phase 1B July 2022
Full Business Case Approval September 2023
Construction substantially complete Littleborough Phase 1A areas February 2024
Construction Start on remaining Littleborough Phase 1B areas March 2024
Detailed design Start on Rochdale Phase 2 May 2024
Construction start Rochdale Phase 2 2025/2026

Last updated: February 2024