‘We’ve been consistently asking for funding’ for flood alleviation says Rotherham Council officer

A Rotherham highways and drainage manager says the council has been “consistently asking for funding” for flood alleviation schemes across the borough, after it was revealed £36.5m is still needed to prevent the devastating effects of flooding.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 3:26 pm

Richard Jackson, highways and drainage asset manager for Rotherham Council told a meeting of the improving places select committee today (September 7) that the Environment Agency’s flood alleviation scheme funding is based on how many properties will be protected.

After floods devastated parts of the borough in November 2019, six priority flood alleviation projects were identified, costing an estimated £52m.

Of this, a report to Rotherham Council’s improving places select commission states that £15.5m of funding has been secured from the government, leaving £36.5m still needed.

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Flooding in Rotherham.

The projects include flood defences at Rotherham to Kilnhurst, Parkgate and Rawmarsh, Whiston Brook, Eel Mires Dike at Laughton Common, a pumping station at Catcliffe and a culvert renewal programme.

“These are big complex developments that are going to need huge amounts of investment,” Mr Jackson added.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities for funding to deliver the schemes.”

Councillor Emily Barley asked Mr Jackson if there are any concerns from the department regarding new housing developments across the borough potentially worsening flooding.

Mr Jackson told the meeting that highways and drainage department are consulted on all planning applications, give recommendations and impose conditions.

Councillor Simon Burnett asked Mr Jackson “how confident” he was that a proposed development of 450 homes off Lathe Road, Whiston, is “not going to increase any flood risk into Whiston Brook”

Mr Jackson said: “We’ve been asked on more than five occasions to comment on it, and we can’t really comment on it until the developer comes forward with the proposal.

“Unless they satisfy the requirements from [the] planning application then they can’t build.”