THE ENVIRONMENT Agency is further securing Salford flood defences with a flood basin scheme costing approximately £8 million.
The existing Salford flood defences, Littleton Road Flood Storage Basin and the defences along the banks of the River Irwell in Lower Kersal and Lower Broughton, provide protection against a one in 75 years flood event.
A second flood storage basin at the Castle Irwell site will increase the standard of protection to protect against a 1 in 100 year flood event for 1,900 homes and businesses.
The scheme is partly paid being for by a special government fund to help.
The project, which started construction in March 2015, is due to be completed by August.
The scheme was under construction when flooding occurred on Boxing Day 2015, and the completed scheme will much reduce the impact of any subsequent similar events.
The Environment Agency has worked very closely with a community group, made up of representatives from Salford Council, the Broughton Trust and other local groups in developing the scheme.
— Env Agency NW (@EnvAgencyNW) March 20, 2017
One of the initiatives put forward was to utilise a local street artist to paint a number of structures on the site. This work has been completed and is a key feature of the scheme.
The scheme was also entered in the University ‘Green Gown’ awards by the University of Salford, and was successful in winning the Community category.
When complete the site will still have sports pitches at the south end.
A new 8 hectare (19 acre) wetland area will be created at the north end, as well as a knoll, or small hill, as a landscape feature and to use up left over soil from the excavation of the storage area.
Access around the site will be improved with a number of paths suitable for all users in addition to the existing Irwell Valley Sculpture Trail.
Paths up to the top of the knoll will enable people to look out over the wetland area and the basin.
The flood storage area has been designed to keep as many trees around the edge of the site as possible and preserve wildlife.
Because they are lowering ground levels by up to 2m in places, trees within the basin are being removed. In total, around 800 trees are being felled, although most of these are quite young and therefore fairly small.
Tree felling began in February last year, in order to avoid any impact on nesting birds and the main construction work began that March.
For resource details on the project, visit: sustainabilityexchange.ac.uk/green_gown_awards_2016_community_university_of_2
By Ash Howson