The UK Environment Agency has completed a £50 million flood risk mitigation scheme to better protect more than 1,400 properties. Including 950 homes – in the Perry Barr and Witton area of Birmingham.
The major project has seen the construction of a new flood storage reservoir at Forge Mill in the Sandwell Valley Country Park. The site is upstream of Perry Barr and Witton communities. Along with works to capture excess water from the River Tame during times of heavy rainfall. The new reservoir will be able to store 1.7 million cubic metres of water. Which is the equivalent of 680 Olympic swimming pools. In very large floods, the area of stored water will now be able to extend back up the valley. To Forge Mill Farm and Newton Road via the operation of a gate.
For smaller flood events, the water will be stored within the banks of the river until it spills onto adjacent land. This £50m project is one of 2,000 new schemes being built around England before 2027. Helping to protect hundreds of thousands of properties.
Enhanced Safety Measures and Future Investments by the Environment Agency
The Perry Barr and Witton area has a history of flooding, with around 400 properties flooding in June 2007 at Brookvale Road in Witton. Earlier floods took place in August 1988, August 1999, and July 2007. The facility includes 3 light beacons which are situated around the reservoir. They will be turned on when the reservoir reaches a certain level indicating that walkers should leave the area.
The UK Environment Agency provides a flood warning service. A record £5.2 billion will be invested between 2021-27, creating around 2,000 new flood and coastal risk management schemes to better protect hundreds of thousands of properties across England. These schemes will help to avoid £32 billion in wider economic damages. Reduce the national flood risk by up to 11 per cent. And reduce the risk of considerable disruption caused by potential future flooding to the daily lives of more than 4 million people.