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£32M flood defence scheme well underway in Birmingham

A £32M flood defence scheme designed to reduce risk to 1,400 properties in Perry Barr and Witton, near Birmingham, has entered its second phase.

Developed in partnership with Birmingham City Council and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, the Environment Agency initiative will safeguard 950 homes against floodwater from the River Tame. This project forms part of a wider package of flood defence investment worth £2.6Bn.

The first phase, which completed in spring 2017, saw a comprehensive upgrade to an existing upstream flood storage area at Perry Hall Playing Fields alongside a programme of improvement works in Perry Barr and Witton, including wall repairs and raising along Brookvale Road, the construction of new walls along Tame Road and the installation of a flood gate at the entrance to Atlas Industrial Estate.

In isolation these measures would not provide a big enough reduction in flood risk however, and so Phase II was conceived to provide additional flood water storage at Forge Mill in Sandwell Valley, upstream of Perry Barr and Witton. The entire scheme is set for completion by spring 2020.

According to Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency: “It’s great to see first-hand work starting at Perry Barr and Witton – a fantastic scheme which not only proves the value of partnership working but which also promises to improve public spaces too. A keen cyclist myself, I’m pleased to see that as well as reducing flood risk the project will improve cycle paths and parkland in the area – a win-win for everyone.”

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey added: “This excellent new scheme will better protect 1,400 more properties from flooding and will improve access to the wonderful Sandwell Valley Country Park for both local residents and tourists.

“With funding coming from the government, local councils, the Arts Council and crowd funders, this project is a great example of how by working together, we can help protect our communities and improve our environment.”

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