In March, the Environment Agency is starting work on a £6.5 million flood risk management scheme to reduce the risk of flooding for 350 homes and businesses in Stoke-on-Trent.
The scheme is designed to reduce the risk of flooding from the the Fowlea Brook, a 6-mile tributary of the River Trent, when water levels rise during periods of heavy rain.
The Brook runs through the heart of Stoke-on-Trent from north of Longport and meets the Trent between the town centre and Fenton.
The work will focus on the stretch of the watercourse between the Shelton Old Road and the Civic Centre, making it more resilient to flooding.
Increased protection from the Fowlea Brook will enable regeneration worth £31.5 million and create up to 570 jobs.
Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager for the West Midlands, Mark Swain, said:
“While properties in the area have thankfully not flooded since 1997, there is a high risk of flash flooding and water levels can increase by more than a metre particularly during summer thunderstorms as we saw in July 2021.
This scheme will help to better protect the area from the devastating impact of flooding and make it more resilient to effects of climate change.
It will also enable the area to be regenerated and help to create more than 550 jobs.”
Work is due to start in March 2022 and aims to be complete by the end of the year.
The scheme will have wide ranging benefits to the local community, with 214 residential properties and 119 non-residential properties being better protected as a result of the new defences.
This equates to £62 million in direct damages which are avoided.
As well as the protection to properties, removing a weir as part of the design will unlock 6.5 kilometres of river for fish migration from the Trent to the headwaters of the Fowlea Brook.
The Fowlea Brook scheme is part of the Environment Agency’s investment of £5.2 billion by 2027 in 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,000 properties across England.
The investment is one of the ways that the Environment Agency is responding to the impacts of the climate emergency in the UK which is resulting in more extreme weather and heavy rain increasing the likelihood of flooding.