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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/leicester-flood-risk-management-scheme/leicester-flood-risk-management-scheme
Leicester is one of the top five locations in the UK at risk of flooding according to the Environment Agency’s NaFRA data. There are approximately 7,000 residential and commercial properties at risk from river flooding in Leicester with further properties also at risk from surface water flooding.
Since 2013 the Environment Agency and Leicester City Council have been working together on a project to improve the flow of the River Soar through Leicester and in doing so, reduce flood risk to approximately 4,700 properties.
Work on the scheme will take place in 3 phases.
Work was completed in November 2014. This phase increased the river flow through the existing flood arches in the Great Central Way Biam Bridge by lowering the ground level beneath the arches by approximately 1 metre. This has helped to reduce the risk of flooding to approximately 217 properties in Braunstone Town and Aylestone.
Completed in December 2016, Phase 2 involved lowering public open spaces to enhance their flood storage capacity and environmental amenity value. Created as part of phase 2, Ellis Meadows is an award winning 20-acre park and nature reserve which also acts as a natural defence, capable of holding water in the event of a flood and keeping it away from around 1,500 properties.
Phase 3 involves the installation of a floodwater bypass culvert to Loughborough Road Bridge, which spans the River Soar. At present there is a risk that the bridge may restrict the flow of water in the event of a flood and cause water to back up and flood nearby properties.
The new 5 metre-wide culvert will significantly increase the amount of floodwater that can pass under the bridge. Land on both sides of the bridge will also be lowered to create larger and more efficient natural floodplains.
Once complete, the scheme will reduce flood risk to approximately 600 homes and businesses in the Belgrave area.
Indicative drawings for the scheme are here:
This project is innovative, using green infrastructure to help store and convey floodwater more efficiently and making best use of public open spaces managed by Leicester City Council. The green infrastructure will also deliver wider environmental and social benefits through habitat creation and improved amenity areas.
The project will also improve transport infrastructure, notably National Cycle Route 6, by enhancing and extending the riverside foot and cycle path between Thurcaston Road Bridge and Melton Brook.
The ethos behind the project is to deliver multi-functional green infrastructure and well-designed landscaping which reduces the need for formal flood defences.
We will keep the public up to date as the phase 3 works progress through press releases in the local media and targeted letter drops to affected residents.