DERBYSHIRE: Flood defence scheme for badly-hit area

Chesterfield during recent floods.
Chesterfield during recent floods.

THE GOVERNMENT is to roll out a £440,000 flood defence scheme to protect 78 houses in a Chesterfield neighbourhood after the area has been repeatedly swamped during torrential rainfall.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson explained last week that work is to start on 93 new flood defences in England this year including one in Brampton as part of a £2.3bn government investment with £148m of contributions from councils, businesses and private investors to protect 165,000 homes nationwide up to 2015.

The plans come after north and mid Derbyshire and the Peak District has suffered repeated floods for over ten years including the great deluge of 2007 and more recent flooding in the summer and winter last year.

Cllr Anne Western, of Derbyshire County Council, which is the region’s lead flood authority, said: “It’s welcome news that there is money for Brampton but we also need to look at the overall situation and cannot just have a piecemeal approach.

“The council is looking at the impact of climate change with severe droughts, heavy snow and rainfall and we need a co-ordinated policy. It’s about identifying areas of risk and co-ordinating plans with others to mitigate the impact of flooding with some responsibility lying with landowners but there will be some funding available for us from the Government to help deal with problems.”

Claire Fox, of Brampton, had her cellar flooded in August, homes in Beeley had to be fortified with sandbags in July, cars were stranded in Walton, Chesterfield, in September, and residents on Tapton Terrace, Chesterfield, told how they live with their possessions upstairs because they are scared of the nearby River Rother bursting its banks.

Ulverston was the only other area from Derbyshire on the newly-released list of target areas sparking concern among the region’s other badly hit areas including Hornsbridge roundabout and Tapton Terrace, near Chesterfield town centre, Clowne, Alfreton, Barlow and Ashford-in-the-Water.

Repeated flooding has damaged dozens of houses in these areas leaving expensive insurance claims, businesses have also lost thousands of pounds in lost trade and damaged road surfaces have been left in need of costly repairs.

Cllr Western, ward member for Clowne and Barlborough, explained there had been an investigation into the flooding at Clowne and work has been done to help clear any blocked culverts and once problems are identified the council would be able to apply for Government funding.

The Government has also given new powers to Derbyshire County Council to prevent, protect and prepare against floods and the authority has been producing a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy after a public consultation.