Sheffield flooding: Travellers site on Club Mill Road dangerously close to being submerged

A travellers site in Sheffield came perilously close to being inundated, as much of the city was put on flood alert.

By Robert Cumber
Monday, 21st February 2022, 2:39 pm

The site on Club Mill Road, beside the River Don, narrowly escaped being submerged following heavy rainfall throughout most of Sunday.

It appears to be safe now as river levels continue to fall on Monday and flood warnings and alerts are lifted by the Environment Agency.

But an expert says the threat it faced and how close other properties, including Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium, came to being flooded show the need to continue strengthening Sheffield’s flood defences.

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The River Don burst its banks in a number of places as flood warnings were issued in many parts of Sheffield

While flooding in the city this time was nowhere near as bad as in 2007 or 2019, many roads were still closed and parks flooded, while numerous householders were warned to ‘act now’ as water lapped dangerously close to their properties.

Simon Ogden is the founder of the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust, which was set up to conserve and breathe new life into the rivers running through Sheffield.

He said the limited extent of flooding over the weekend showed the impact of work done since the devastation in 2007 to keep Sheffield’s rivers clear of blockages so they can carry water more effectively away from the city.

But he also told how the numerous flood warnings issued for the city highlighted how there was still much work to be done to safeguard homes and businesses.

"One of the worst places was down at Club Mill Road where the travellers are living. They came close to being flooded out and it’s not right that they should be in that situation. Something needs to be done,” he said.

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"I think what happened shows how essential the work done by volunteers and the River Stewardship Company to keep our waterways clear has been. They’ve really come into their own.

"But it also highlights the need for the flood defence scheme on the Upper Don, which the council has been working on and trying to get the funding together to complete.

"The defences on the Lower Don have made a big difference but when you get above Kelham Island, there’s still a lot to do, and incidents like these (heavy and persistent rainfall) are becoming more and more regular.”

Mr Ogden also told how a partial collapse of a wall beside the River Sheaf in Lowfield, Sheffield, had yet to be fixed permanently, with the Environment Agency issuing a flood warning for the area.

But he said a temporary fix by the Environment Agency, which installed two large pipes to carry the water, appeared to have held up well on Sunday.

South Yorkshire was last year promised £80 million from the Government to strengthen flood defences in the region over the next six years, with the money earmarked to pay for 27 priority schemes.

But South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis said at the time that there remained a £125m gap in the region’s Flooding Priority Programme, which he claimed needed to be filled urgently to give people the reassurance they needed.