National award for Much Wenlock Flood Alleviation Scheme
Much Wenlock’s £2 million Flood Alleviation Scheme has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.
The scheme – which has seen the construction of two ponds to catch and store water that could otherwise flood properties, businesses and roads in the town – was the winner in the ‘sustainability’ category in the Environment Agency’s annual Project Excellence Awards.
The winners were announced on Wednesday night (21 March 2018) at the Flood and Coast Conference and Exhibition, at the Telford International Centre.
The awards aim to recognise excellent projects developed or supported by local authorities, internal drainage boards and the Environment Agency, as well as community level initiatives.
Projects in the ‘sustainability’ category had to demonstrate how they have managed resources sustainably, including evidence of measures for carbon reduction, use of resources and materials, effective management of waste and routine operational and end-of-life considerations.
The shortlist of schemes in this category included a £500m flood alleviation project on the River Thames.
Designed and developed by WSP, Shropshire Council’s engineering design consultants, the scheme consists of two ponds in Much Wenlock – one on the Sytche Brook to the north west of the town, and the other on the Shylte Brook to the south west. The ponds will usually be empty, and 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.
An integral part of the scheme was the restoration of the disused Westwood Quarry with the surplus excavated material from the ponds used to create a new nature reserve.
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. Work was completed in November 2017.
Tim Sneddon, environmental maintenance service manager with Shropshire Council, said:
“Completion of this hugely important scheme means that dozens of homes and businesses in Much Wenlock are now at far less risk from flooding than they have been in the past. I’m delighted that it has received national recognition through winning this award.”
David Turner, Shropshire Councillor for Much Wenlock, said:
“The flood alleviation scheme is the result of a number of partners working closely with the Town Council and the local community. This prestigious award is excellent news and recognises the unique local circumstances in this complex catchment, as well as the environmental benefits associated with the scheme.”