Shropshire Star

Fresh help for one of Shropshire's worst flood areas with historic cottages to get extra protection

Historic workers' cottages in one of Shropshire's worst-hit flood areas are to have doors installed to stop water cascading in.

Last updated
Cottages in Old Coleham are to get flood-resistant doors. Photo: Google

Plans have been submitted for 14 homes in Belle Vue, Shrewsbury, to receive flood-resistant doors to protect them from future weather events.

Coleham was devastated by major floods four times in three years from 2020 to 2022, and historically has been one of the worst areas for damage to homes and businesses when the River Severn bursts its banks.

The homes include workers cottages in Old Coleham and Moreton Crescent in the 1840s.

The doors would be installed by Watertight International, who are working on behalf of the government's Property Flood Resilience Framework to deliver measures in the West Midlands.

Coleham is one of the worst-hit areas for flooding in Shropshire

A report prepared by archaeology and heritage consultant Patrick Mayer shared more on the history of the area.

He said: "Belle Vue is a nineteenth century development, that was initially constructed during the expansion of Coleham to provide accommodation for workers.

"The workers' cottages, which were developed around the 1840s, were constructed to no overall plan, built only when small plots of land became available.

"The purpose of these cottages was predominantly to house the workers employed in the various industries that had developed around Shrewsbury's railway network.

"These are contrasted by the development of middle-class villas in the area, which gives Belle Vue its distinctive diversity of architectural styles.

"From reviewing the development of Belle Vue in detail, it is known that from the 1840s there was a shift in the purpose of these developments, as more middle-class villas began to be constructed.

"This was a period of economic and social change in Shrewsbury, as it became an increasingly important railway junction and locomotive maintenance centre. In turn this prompted the development of further workers terraced cottages closest to "The Sheds". As a result, Belle Vue become a socially mixed area, with workers cottages juxtaposed against middle class villas, all surprisingly close to industrial activities.

"This social mix contrasts with the development of other parts of Shrewsbury, where areas of higher social class, such as the Kingsland Villas, were distinctly separate to areas such as Castlefields, Ditherington and Cherry Orchard which were for the towns "labouring classes".

In conclusion, Mr Mayer said the measures would "enhance" the character of the Belle Vue conservation area, and that heritage significance would be sustained "through sympathetic design while limiting future harm to the properties that could be caused by flooding".

The individual applications for all 14 homes can be viewed on Shropshire Council's planning portal.