Aerial photos highlight progress on Birmingham flood defence scheme

TVO Selly Park South

Working on behalf of the Environment Agency, Team Van Oord (TVO) is making excellent progress on a £2.4m flood prevention scheme in Birmingham.

The scheme at Selly Park South is one of four currently being carried out by TVO in the West Midlands – the others are in the town of Rugeley in Staffordshire, at Selly Park North and Lea Marston near Sutton Coldfield in Warwickshire.

The area of Selly Park has a history of flooding from the River Rea, the Bourn Brook and surface water, most recently in June 2016 when residents were affected by very heavy rainfall.

The following month, the Environment Agency invited Selly Park residents and businesses to attend two drop-in events to discuss the recent flooding in the area, and provide information about how they are working in partnership with TVO to help reduce the risk of flooding in the future.

Speaking at the time the scheme was announced, the local MP Steve McCabe, said: “Having more robust flood defences will give many residents peace of mind.”

When complete, the Selly Park South flood defence scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to 270 residential properties. Works comprise the construction of an embankment to prevent water from overtopping the left bank of the River Rea, and creation of an area to store water during storm events.

Other works include realignment of a cycle path over the new flood embankment, and replanting trees and vegetation removed during works.

TVO Selly Park South 2

The eastern bund (flood defence embankment) is currently being constructed, with an impermeable clay core laid on top of a clay foundation. Sloping flanks of aggregate have been laid either side and the structure is being covered with soil ready for grassing.

The river channel just upstream of Dogpool Bridge has been moved a short distance to the east to allow access for heavy machinery to construct the flood defence wall on the western side of the river.

Steel sheeting is currently being pile-driven into the ground to form the core of the wall which will be brick clad and have a concrete capping similar to the bridge.

Angus Brettell, TVO Project Manager for the scheme, said: “We are always keen to minimise disruption for local residents living in the areas where we work.

“At Selly Park South our construction team re-sequenced works to benefit walkers and cyclists using the Rea Valley Route, and are using the Giken ‘silent’ piling method to reduce both noise and vibration.”

The Selly Park South team recently had a Considerate Constructors Scheme audit, following which they received very positive feedback.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme is a non-profit-making, independent organisation founded in 1997 by the construction industry to improve its image.

Construction sites, companies and suppliers voluntarily register with the Scheme and agree to abide by the Code of Considerate Practice, designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements.

Work at Selly Park commenced in mid-September and is scheduled for completion in in autumn 2017.