Go-ahead for flood project

Floodpic: The Deluge.'Sheffield Floods'Saville Street
Floodpic: The Deluge.'Sheffield Floods'Saville Street
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A £9.5 million project to improve flood defences in the Lower Don Valley is set to go ahead.

The scheme will protect hundreds of businesses and hopefully prevent a repeat of the disaster in 2007 when the area was deluged by the overflowing river.

Sheffield Council’s cabinet is set to approve an application for £7.3 million of Government funding at its meeting tomorrow.

The money will be added to £800,000 from the council’s budget and £1.4 million donated by businesses.

In a report to cabinet, Laraine Manley, executive director for resources, said: “This project will install flood defences in the Lower Don Valley and maintain those defences and the riverbed for five years.

“The defences will protect 256 businesses and 5,000 jobs, covering an eight kilometre stretch.

“It has been decided to defend the valley against a one in 100-year flood – above the minimum one in 75 year requirements stipulated by the insurance industry.”

Ms Manley said the business contribution had been agreed at a meeting of a steering group with firms which will ‘benefit directly’ from the scheme.

The £7.3 million grant is being sought from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ YourCivil Regional fund.

A report to the council cabinet meeting about the River Don project warns that Sheffield faces an increased threat of flooding due to global warming and climate change.

The report said: “The impact of climate change will not lead to a significant increase in the area affected by flooding but there will be an increase in the speed, frequency and depth if no action is taken.”

Flood prevention measures include extra ponds so excess water can drain into them, rather than major flood barriers.

Work is already being undertaken in Rotherham to create a series of ponds for the same purpose.

Other work to take place over the next three years includes opening up the Sheaf and Don convergance, when Castle Market is demolished, restoring weirs on the Sheaf, at Niagra on the Don, and completing a riverside footpath from Neepsend to Oughtibridge.