The £9.5 million flood risk management scheme will better protect 333 homes and businesses from flooding and help regenerate the area and create new jobs.
There will be an opportunity to find out more about the scheme at a drop-in event on 13 July between 3pm and 7pm being held in the Factory Floor suite at the Potbank on Elenora Street where Environment Agency officers will be on hand to provide information about the scheme and answer questions.
The Fowlea Brook, is a six-kilometre tributary of the River Trent that runs through the heart of Stoke from north of Longport meeting the Trent between the town centre and Fenton. The works will focus on a 500m stretch of the watercourse between the Shelton Old Road and the Civic Centre, making it more resilient to flooding.
Preparation work for the main construction works has already begun with vegetation being cleared to make way for construction traffic. As part of the scheme, the Environment Agency will replant five trees for every one removed within the working area.
Construction work on this complex urban scheme is expected to start in October and will take approximately two years to complete.
Environment Agency Flood Risk Team Leader 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 meter in 15 minutes, 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 up to 570 jobs.”
“We’re looking forward to welcoming people to the drop-in event in July where we can answer their questions about the scheme.”
Councillor Duncan Walker, Cabinet Member for Planning, Climate Change and Regeneration at Stoke-on-Trent City Council added:
“This is a highly complex project and we fully support the essential work being undertaken by the Environment Agency to repair these water courses and protect hundreds of homes and businesses from the threat of flooding in the future. It will also enable regeneration sites such as Spode Works, securing the land and buildings for future use bringing new homes, businesses and jobs.
“The drop-in event is a great opportunity for residents and businesses to find out more about the works taking place as well as the benefits for the area.”
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, the Environment Agency is improving in-channel habitat and removing a weir that will unlock six-kilometers 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.
Make sure you know your flood risk by going the GOV.UK website or search ‘know my flood risk’ to sign up for Environment Agency flood warnings, receive information on the risk in your area and what to do in a flood: https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/.