£2 million Much Wenlock flood alleviation scheme is unveiled - with video
The completion of a £2 million project that will cut the risk of flooding in a town has been marked at a celebratory event.
Civic and community leaders gathered for the unveiling of the Much Wenlock Flood Alleviation Scheme on Friday.
The project has seen the construction of two ponds to catch and store water that could otherwise flood properties, businesses and roads in the town.
One pond is on the Sytche Brook to the north west of the town, and the other is on the Shylte Brook to the south west – where the unveiling took place.
The scheme, which cost £2.1 million in total, has been backed by the Environment Agency and funded through the Severn and Wye Regional Flood Defence Committee by Flood Defence Grant in Aid, local developer contributions and Shropshire Council.
Phillip Dunne MP and Anne Wheeler, chair of the English Severn and Wye Regional Flood and Coastal reveal a plaque at the site.
Among those in attendance was Councillor David Turner, ward member for Much Wenlock, says the project will reassure many residents living in the area.
"It went very well," he said. "We had a good turnout of people that came along including lots of residents.
"We were able to see the see scheme being unveiled and an explanation from the Environment Agency's Dave Edwards as to how it all worked.
"I am very pleased that we've seen this brought to a conclusion. In 1997, 64 homes were flooded in the town and its happened again since then, particularly in 2000.
"It will cover both the potential financial and emotional costs which could be inflicted on both homes and businesses and provides them with significant insurance."
The scheme, which will reduce the flood risk to 171 properties, will see the ponds, which will usually be empty, fill during times of heavy rain.
The collected water will then be released in a controlled manner so that flood risk downstream is reduced. The ponds will drain down sufficiently quickly so that repeat rainfall events can be stored in a similar manner.
The ponds are now fully operational.
Work was carried out by Griffiths and began in October 2016, with the main excavations starting in November 2016.
The scheme also included the restoration of Westwood Quarry SSSI on Stretton Road.
The work was originally due to be completed in March 2017, but due to additional works and breeding Peregrine Falcons in Westwood Quarry, the scheme was completed in July 2017.
Much Wenlock has a long history of flooding – the Shylte Brook and its tributaries run through the centre of the town and are largely culverted running underground. The culverts have a limited capacity and when they are full, the excess floodwater flows over ground through Much Wenlock thus affecting properties, businesses and infrastructure.
Much Wenlock has experienced flooding over a number of decades. In 2007 around 64 properties reported flooding to Shropshire Council and an electricity substation near to the Sytche Brook became inundated, causing a power outage to a large part of the town.
Shropshire Council became the Lead Local Flood Authority in 2010 and allocated funding to investigate the flooding in Much Wenlock, building on the body of evidence assembled by the local volunteer flood action group.