01/11/2017 - Permalink

Much Wenlock flood risk reduced following completion of £2m flood alleviation scheme

Related topics: Highways, transport and environmental maintenance / Partner organisations

Work has been completed on a £2million project that will reduce the risk of flooding in Much Wenlock.

The Much Wenlock Flood Alleviation Scheme has seen the construction of two ponds to catch and store water that could otherwise flood properties, businesses and roads in the town. One pond is on the Sytche Brook to the north west of the town, and the other is on the Shylte Brook to the south west.

The ponds, which will usually be empty, will fill during times of heavy rain. The collected water will then be released in a controlled manner so that flood risk downstream is reduced.  The ponds will drain down sufficiently quickly so that repeat rainfall events can be stored in a similar manner.

The ponds are now fully operational.

The scheme was supported by the Environment Agency and funded through the Severn & Wye Regional Flood Defence Committee by Flood Defence Grant in Aid, local developer contributions and Shropshire Council. The scheme cost around £2 million and will reduce the flood risk to 171 properties.

Work was carried out by Griffiths and began in October 2016, with the main excavations starting in November 2016.

Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“I’m delighted that work on this important scheme has now been completed, and that dozens of homes and businesses in Much Wenlock are now at far less risk from flooding than they have been in the past.”

David Turner, Shropshire Councillor for Much Wenlock, said:

“Having worked with local residents during flooding incidents in 2000 and 2007, I have a ready appreciation of the financial and emotional cost of flooded homes. I am very pleased that the good work of the Much Wenlock Flood Group over the past ten years has resulted in this major project.”

Dave Edwards, Environment Agency spokesperson, said:

“We’ve been happy to work with our partner Shropshire Council on the Much Wenlock Flood Alleviation Scheme and it’s great to see the finished project protecting properties, businesses and roads in the town. We’ll continue to work closely with both the council and the community in the future.”

The scheme also included the restoration of Westwood Quarry SSSI on Stretton Road.

The work was originally due to be completed in March 2017, but due to additional works and breeding Peregrine Falcons in Westwood Quarry, the scheme was completed in July 2017.

The completion of work will be marked on at a celebratory event on the afternoon of Friday 10 November 2017, at the Shylte Brook site.

Further information

Much Wenlock has a long history of flooding. The Shylte Brook and its tributaries run through the centre of the town and are largely culverted running underground. The culverts have a limited capacity and when they are full, the excess floodwater flows over ground through Much Wenlock thus affecting properties, businesses and infrastructure.

Much Wenlock has experienced flooding over a number of decades. In 2007 around 64 properties reported flooding to Shropshire Council and an electricity substation near to the Sytche Brook became inundated, causing a power outage to a large part of the town.

Shropshire Council became the Lead Local Flood Authority in 2010 and allocated funding to investigate the flooding in Much Wenlock, building on the body of evidence assembled by the local volunteer flood action group. As a result, the Much Wenlock Integrated Urban Drainage Management Plan (IUDMP) was produced. This considered the whole catchment and included detailed modelling.

Following further analysis, two sites were identified for the construction of flood alleviation ponds to store flood water upstream of Much Wenlock. One is on the Sytche Brook to the north west of the town and the other on the Shylte Brook to the south west.

Ground investigations and ecological surveys were carried out before work began.

There is water storage capacity of up to 21,104m3 between the two ponds which is then released – at a controlled rate which the culverts running through the Much Wenlock are able to take – over a period following the rain.