Padiham flood defence work to start this week
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The Environment Agency will carry out the investigations including digging of trial pits and boreholes to identify foundations and underground services at sites across the town.
Work is expected to last eight weeks and once completed, the scheme will better protect over 150 homes, businesses and key infrastructure in central Padiham as well as manage surface water risk on local highways.
This investigation work is essential to the scheme and will allow the Environment Agency, Burnley Borough Council and other partners to anticipate any issues and plan effectively for the construction phase.
Plans for the scheme itself include new and enhanced flood walls, earth embankments as well as modifications to the local highways.
Works are also set to include additional environmental, biodiversity and amenity improvements with the defences closely linked to local growth and regeneration, as part of the Northwest Burnley Growth Corridor, which has received £5.2m. for all works in Padiham from Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal Programme.
Welcoming the news local MP Antony Higginbotham said: “This is really positive news and I am very grateful to the Floods Minister for working with me last year to secure the extra funding the scheme needed.
"Not only is this a key priority for residents and businesses across Padiham, who have waited far too long for work on the flood defences to start, but it is also something I promised I would sort out when I first got elected. We're now starting to see physical work commence and I hope we can make progress quickly”.
Andy Brown, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “This is a step closer to constructing the Padiham Flood Risk Management Scheme and will build on the outline work and proposals shared with the community in October 2019.
“By delivering these minor works ahead of constructing the main flood alleviation scheme, we will be able to reduce the risk of unknown issues coming to light and keep any disruption for the local community, whilst this work takes place, to a minimum.
"All our work will be carried out in line within the Government coronavirus guidelines and activities will continue to be reviewed so that they can be completed safely.”
Further site investigations will also be taking place on the ground in Padiham between January and March 2021. These are the final major investigations and will help the Environment Agency to better understand the condition of existing walls already in place along the riverbanks, the local ground water conditions and any risks posed by old mining works in the area.
Steve Fogg, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said: ‘’It’s great to hear the investigative works are about to commence for the flood risk management scheme. Improvements to Padiham’s flood defences will complement the wider growth and regeneration work of the NW Burnley Growth Corridor Scheme, in which the LEP has invested £5.2m. from its Growth Deal Funding to boost the vitality of the town centre.
"Flooding can have a devastating effect on communities and businesses, and the investigative works starting on site means Padiham is a step closer to having a flood management scheme in place to help mitigate the flood risk for the town.’’