Businesses to start paying for flood defences in Lower Don Valley

The flood defences already installed on Nursery Street, Sheffield
The flood defences already installed on Nursery Street, Sheffield
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Plans to install flood defences in the Lower Don Valley are a step closer after the first business rates levy were issued.

More than 250 companies which are involved in the Lower Don Valley Flood Defence Business Improvement District will begin paying towards its construction from July 1.

Employers have agreed to contribute a total of £1.4million towards the project, in which 40 interventions will be built on an eight-kilometre stretch of the River Don.

A total of five planning applications are due to be submitted by the end of June, with construction work expected to start in the autumn and be completed by spring 2016.

Richard Wright, executive director for Sheffield Chamber, said: “Work to install the flood defences is well underway with the intention for all interventions to be installed within two years. Public funding has been secured and now is the right time to begin the BID period with the private sector.

“Whilst nobody wants to pay more money I am convinced that this is great value for money for the businesses involved and they will reap the return in insurance costs over the next few years. Even since we started the project floods have become a bigger issue across the country and it is good to know we got in first and secured the funding, before it becomes even more difficult.”

Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, recycling and Streetscene at Sheffield Council, said: “Businesses in the Lower Don Valley know very well the massive disruption and multi-million pound damage flooding can cause, as well as its impact on power, transport and telecommunications.

“They recognised the need to support this project by voting in favour of the contributions to the BID. We are immensely proud of the way the private and public sectors have joined forces with this project to combat against such an occurrence happening again.

“These improvements to the Lower Don Valley will not only make the river a safer place but help raise awareness of the maintenance and riparian responsibilities of all in this part of the city.”