Yesterday (Thursday 2 February), the Environment Agency and Calthorpe Estates carried out a sod cutting ceremony which marked the launch of the Selly Park North and Selly Oak Flood Risk Management Scheme.
The ceremony was performed by Chair of the Environment Agency Emma Howard Boyd, Director of Development at Calthorpe Estates, Ralph Minott, and Senior Flood Risk Advisor for the Environment Agency, Mike Adams.
Working as part of the Rea Catchment Partnership, the £4 million partnership project will reduce the risk of flooding to over 150 local homes and businesses in the Selly Park North and Selly Oak area of Birmingham. It will also help keep key highway routes and infrastructure open during times of flood, maintaining vital transport and emergency routes in an area that was severely affected by flooding in 2008, and more recently in June 2016.
The Environment Agency and Calthorpe Estates will be holding public information drop-in sessions for local residents to find out more about the scheme. The sessions will be held on:
Monday 6 March, 2pm – 8pm at
St. Peter’s Church
Old Church Road
Tuesday 7 March, 2pm – 8pm at
953 Pershore Road
The scheme, which will be delivered by the Environment Agency, involves deepening and widening an existing flood water storage area near the Bourn Brook Walkway on Harborne Lane. This will increase the capacity of the storage area and offer wildlife habitat and ecology improvements. Flow improvement works will also be carried out, raising land on two plots to ensure that future Pebble Mill development is safely above the flood level and creating an overland flow route to direct flows to a new bypass culvert running underneath the Pershore Road. This will reduce the risk of flood water getting onto the highway and being routed towards the community. Construction work on site will begin in the next few weeks.
Funding for the scheme has been raised through a mixture of Government Grant in Aid, Local Levy and approximately £2 million in partnership contribution from Calthorpe Estates.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:
This scheme is a great example of how, by working with local partners, we can not only better protect homes and businesses but also deliver other benefits to local people: such as helping to keep vital transport links open.
Ralph Minott, Director of Development at Calthorpe Estates said:
Over nearly four years now we have worked hard within the Rea Catchment Partnership and together we have been able to realise this partnership project, and the improvements that will make a difference to the community here. Part of the works include raising the ground level at the three- acre site of the former BBC Sports and Social Club at Pebble Mill, and using part of the land as a new overflow flood channel, which will create an opportunity to reuse the site that has been blighted by its flooding status. It is testament to the strong partnership between Birmingham City Council, Environment Agency, ourselves and other partners sharing the same ambitions that this project has come to fruition.
Across the West Midlands £65 million of government funding is being invested until 2021. That includes £2.4 million for Selly Park South and £28 million in Perry Barr and Witton in Birmingham.