Sheffield parks could be turned into flood plains under £83m council plan

Endcliffe Park. Picture: Andrew Roe
Endcliffe Park. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Sheffield parks could be turned into dedicated flood defence areas.

The city council has £83 million to spend on protecting homes and businesses around the Porter Brook, the River Sheaf and in the Upper Don Valley from a repeat of the devastating floods in 2007.

The Wicker in Sheffield city centre following the floods of 2007.

The Wicker in Sheffield city centre following the floods of 2007.

Among the options being considered are ‘flood storage areas’ - designated open space where flood water can collect, before draining off gradually without reaching buildings. On the list are Endcliffe Park and Millhouses Park, along with woodland areas such as Whiteley Wood.

The council’s cabinet member for environment, Bryan Lodge, admitted some of the options were ‘sensitive’.

He said: “Flood protection requires a mix of approaches. Doing less of one thing such as creating flood storage areas means we may need to do more of another, such as building higher walls.

“Some of these options are sensitive, including the temporary flooding of ancient woodland and changes to some of the city’s parks which may include the removal of trees.

“But it’s worth stressing that these are only options - no decisions have been made - and it’s really important for people to have their say on how to protect the city from flooding in the future.”

The council says existing facilities, historic features and riverside access at flood storage areas would be protected. Parks would remain dry under normal conditions and would only be wet for short periods during significant storms.

At Endcliffe Park, for example, a new embankment would be constructed alongside the Porter Brook to hold back water for a short period during significant storm events.

Coun Lodge added: “We all remember the 2007 floods that caused such devastation to the city and tragically the loss of two lives. “Sheffield Council is committed to protecting the city from flooding. As well as protecting the city’s homes and businesses, we want to find solutions that transform Sheffield’s waterways and even create future energy from them.”

Defences are already being built in the Lower Don Valley. A public consultation has been launched on the Upper Don, Sheaf and Porter schemes.

Other options include building new defences, creating ‘floodwater corridors’, opening underground sections of rivers and rural land management on higher ground outside the city, such as tree planting and moorland restoration.

Public events will be held in August and September at the following venues:

The Dooley Suite, Sheffield Wednesday FC, 11am to 8pm, August 25.

Sheffield United FC, 11am to 8pm, September 8.

Millennium Hall, Ecclesall Road, 11am to 8pm, September 14.

Millhouses Methodist Church, 11am to 8pm, September 21.

Oughtibridge Chapel Hall, 11am to 6.30pm, September 29.

Visit www.floodprotectionsheffield.com for more details.

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