The Warrington Mayor and local school children planted a tree today to mark the completion of the first phase of construction on one of the UK’s biggest flood defence schemes.
The 1.5 km stretch of flood walls and embankments along Knutsford Rd have already proved their worth by protecting around 1,500 local homes and businesses during one of the biggest tidal surges on the River Mersey since 1990.
The £23 million scheme has been made possible thanks to a partnership between the Environment Agency and Warrington Borough Council, who are jointly funding the new flood defences.
The finished scheme will eventually reduce the risk of flooding to over 2,000 homes and businesses in Warrington from the River Mersey and its tributaries. The second phase of construction is scheduled to begin in Howley in January, then the third and final phase will be constructed in Woolston, Padgate, Kingsway North, Cinnamon Brow and Latchford East, with completion scheduled for spring 2015.
These new flood defences provide peace of mind to hundreds of local families and businesses
The Warrington Mayor, Cllr Peter Carey, children from Latchford C of E Primary School and the children who designed the motif on the flood defences, conducted the ceremony where they planted the final tree in an extensive replanting scheme which is underway in Victoria Park.
Cllr Carey, said: “These new flood defences provide peace of mind to hundreds of local families and businesses. The tidal surge we experienced earlier this month shows they were completed not a moment too soon and proves how important they are to the local community. Warrington Borough Council is committed to ensuring the town and local economy continues to grow and develop, and to achieve this it is essential we are resilient to flooding and make the most of the beautiful River Mersey.”
“The new flood walls and embankments look fantastic and I was honoured to plant the final tree today as, once the they’ve had a chance to establish, Victoria Park will provide a lovely green space for the community to enjoy, with improved riverside walks and a new arboretum of fine specimen trees.”
Flood Defence funding is prioritised to protect as many people and properties as possible
Flood Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, Mark Garratt, added: “The Environment Agency continually monitors flood risk and identified that thousands of homes and businesses were at risk of flooding from the River Mersey in Warrington.”
“Flood Defence funding is prioritised to protect as many people and properties as possible, so Warrington was moved to the top of the list, but even with the support of government financing, this scheme would not have gone ahead without the support of Warrington Borough Council and the local community.”
“Work is now completed in Latchford, where we have constructed a series of flood walls and embankments along Knutsford Road and in Victoria Park. Our next phase of construction will begin in Howley in January 2014, then we will move on to the third and final phase of construction in Padgate, Woolston, Cinnamon Brow, Kingsway North and Latchford East.”
“We couldn’t have completed construction at a better time, as the new defences were tested during a major tidal surge on Thursday 5th December. The flood walls and embankments worked perfectly, holding water on the natural flood plain in Victoria Park and protecting around 1,500 local homes and businesses.”
Press Release, December 18, 2013