Revealed: Major £5.6m scheme to stop this Stoke-on-Trent town centre being flooded

The work will protect 300 homes and businesses,Flooding in Church Street, Stoke (Image: Malcolm Hart) Around £5.6 million will be spent protecting hundreds of town centre homes and businesses from flooding.

The Environment Agency (EA) is due to carry out the works in Stoke town centre as part of wider management of the River Trent headwaters.Council chiefs, who are working with the EA on the Stoke town centre flood alleviation scheme, say it will help unlock million of pounds of investment on the Spode site and surrounding area.

At the moment, the risk of flooding can hold back development by making it all but impossible to secure planning permission on some sites.

According to Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the scheme will reduce flood risk to 300 existing residential and commercial properties, and support the delivery of at least 337 new homes which cannot currently be built due to flooding issues.

The authority says the works will also help secure £31.5 million of investment in the town centre, support the creation of 36,000sqm of floor space, at least 186 new jobs and 450 student flats on the Spode site.Dan Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration at the city council, said: “At the moment, developers have to include flood mitigation measures in their planning applications for Stoke.

“This affects the Fowlea Brook next to the Spode site, as well as the other end of Stoke further downstream. This flood alleviation scheme will remove that problem for future development.”Around £4.2 million of the funding for the scheme is coming from the EA, while Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is providing £1.2 million of Local Growth Fund cash, with another £50,000 coming from a private developer.

The city council is the accountable body for the LGF grant, but the authority is not making a financial contribution itself.

‘I would help the homeless’ – Caring Stokies tell us what they would do if they won millions on the National Lottery.It is understood that part of the scheme will involve building a new culvert for the Fowlea Brook, which would allow water to drain away safely if the existing channel became blocked.Jeff Nash, who owns the Potbank Hotel on the Spode site, says the flood alleviation work is needed in Stoke.

He said: “At the moment, if the Fowlea Brook gets blocked, there’s nowhere for the water to go other than Stoke town centre. That means all the properties in the area are blighted by flood risk.

“Owners can’t really invest in their properties because of that risk. The Environment Agency has plans in place for one-in-a-hundred year, or one-in-a-thousand year floods and, in Stoke, the whole area between Liverpool Road and Woodhouse Street is affected by that.

“At the Potbank Hotel, we’ve done things like put the electricity sockets halfway up the wall and installed hard floors so, if a flood did happen, we would be able to cope with it. But we still can’t have any guest rooms on the ground floor in case a flood happened at night.”

Cabinet members will approve the delivery of flood alleviation scheme at their meeting on Tuesday.The EA, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was unable to comment on the flood alleviation scheme due to the General Election.

Thanks to Stoke Sentinel for the post:- https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/the-problem-blighting-whole-area-3538789

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