Sheffield bids for cash for flood defences

More investment is needed so moorlands can protect South Yorkshire’s urban areas from flooding.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 12:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 12:05 pm
Cleaning up after the floods around the Meadowhall Shopping Centre. Picture Scott Merrylees

Sheffield saw half its annual average rainfall in a few days which led to flooding in the north of the city last week.

Sheffield’s defences, installed after the 2007 floods, held but Rotherham and Doncaster were badly hit.

Rotherham’s Parkgate retail park and railway station were left submerged while hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in Doncaster after water reached several feet high.

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Sheffield Council chiefs said £20m was spent following the 2007 floods and they believe this saved the council a minimum of £30m plus costs to businesses and the economy.

But Coun Mark Jones, cabinet member for the environment and climate change, said the council would be bidding for more money.

“We have submitted several claims to the government’s flood defence scheme to enhance and maintain several of our current defences and also to create new ones.

“We are expecting an inch of rain on Friday morning and Sheffield has the capacity but it is not going to help Doncaster.

“We need to make sure we can keep the water in the uplands and do a lot of planting to stop it going down the river to our neighbours in Rotherham and Doncaster.

“Doncaster will need good flood defences but we need to help protect them and the more we can do to keep the water on the hills, the better.

“We are looking at defences all along the Upper Don, in the Pennines, Strines and on moorlands.”

The floods, which came a month before the general election, have become a political issue with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democract Leader Jo Swinson all visiting Doncaster.