New flood scheme is ‘fantastic news’ for local residents

TVO Rugeley official opening2

Image: Environment Agency Midlands

A new £5.2m flood scheme, which reduces risk to more than 270 residential and commercial properties in the Staffordshire town of Rugeley, has been officially opened.

The scheme, which was carried out by Team Van Oord on behalf of the Environment Agency, forms an integral part of Cannock Chase District Council’s plans to regenerate parts of Rugeley town centre.

It was officially opened on 18 December, with representatives from the Environment Agency, Cannock Chase District Council, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) all praising the way the project has been carried out.

The Environment Agency described the scheme as ‘fantastic news’ for the local community, while a local councillor referred to it as ‘an excellent example of partnership working’.

TVO Rugeley official opening

Works in Rugeley began in December 2016 and involved the construction of a 350m long embankment, which is 4m high at its highest point, on Hagley playing fields.

This embankment has created a flood storage area which will store water from the Rising Brook during times of heavy rainfall and then slowly release it back into the watercourse when levels no longer pose a flood risk.

The scheme also involved the reconstruction of a bridge, which was carried out in close collaboration with the local council to ensure it remains in keeping with the heritage of the surrounding area.

The bridge, which provides public access to a heritage trail, was previously supported by some very large rocks which have been reused in the new design.

Mark Swain, Environment Agency, said:

“This scheme is fantastic news for the people of Rugeley as it will help reduce the risk of flooding to a significant number of residential properties and businesses.

“Not only that but it is an important step in unlocking Rugeley’s potential for future investment, regeneration and growth, something which would be challenging if the town remained at risk of serious flooding.”

David Frost CBE, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, said:

“This scheme means businesses will have a secure foundation when they make plans to expand, without the risk of their hard work literally being washed away. It is also creating an attractive green space for local people to enjoy.”

Cllr John Kraujalis, Corporate Improvement Portfolio Leader for Cannock Chase Council said:

“This scheme is an excellent example of true partnership working in action. The improvements will provide protection and peace of mind to residents and commercial businesses alike that were at risk from flooding from the Rising Brook.

“The Environment Agency has also successfully procured and delivered a replacement footbridge on behalf of the Council which became unstable a number of years ago and was in desperate need of repair.”

Gordon Alcott, Economic Development & Planning Portfolio Leader for Cannock Chase Council said:

“The works that have been carried out will unlock new development opportunities in Rugeley that have previously been constrained by the flood risk.

“The Council have already received a planning application for industrial units which could create approximately 60 jobs in the area that would have been affected by flooding prior to this work being carried out.”

08 January 2018