Enabling works on a £56m flood alleviation scheme, which will reduce the flood risk for the towns of Littleborough and Rochdale, Greater Manchester, will get underway in the coming weeks.
The new scheme is led by the Environment Agency in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council, Network Rail, the North West RFCC, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), and the Departments for Education and Transport. The defence scheme will be delivered in two phases, and will involve a range of measures, to reduce the risk of flooding across Rochdale and Littleborough.
This will include a new flood storage area at Gale, as well as raised walls and improvements to culverts and bridges in areas including Greenvale Brook, Town House Brook, Ealees Brook, Buckley Brook and Hey Brook. These measures will improve flood protection for 1,000 residential properties and 200 local businesses.
The initial enabling works, scheduled to start early April, will prepare the sites for further construction later this year. All enabling works will be completed by September 2021 - a key milestone for the project, which will allow Network Rail to close the railway track in October, to install a new conveyance culvert.
The next phase of the scheme will involve the construction of a storage reservoir at Gale, just off Todmorden Road, and a programme of measures to improve water flow and flood defences along the River Roch and its tributaries.
Stuart Newby, VolkerStevin national framework manager, said: “We are delighted to get started on site and to be working collaboratively with the Environment Agency and our North West IDT partners, Jacobs, to deliver this vital flood defence scheme. This will make a huge difference to protect residents and businesses from flooding in Rochdale and Littleborough.”
Nick Pearson, flood risk advisor with the Environment Agency, said: “This is a step closer to constructing the Rochdale and Littleborough Flood Risk Management scheme, which is fantastic news as it will benefit residents, businesses, the local economy and local wildlife. The improved flood defences will play a crucial role in better protecting the wider community from the risk of flooding into the future.”
Once completed, the scheme will be one of the largest and most complex inland flood risk management schemes in the north of England, and will also protect vital infrastructure, including local transport networks, schools and colleges. The whole scheme is due for completion by late 2025.