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26th Sep, 2021

Scheme should end Rubery residents' flood misery

Tristan Harris 3rd Jun, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

YEARS of flooding misery suffered by Rubery residents may be at an end after plans to create two balancing pools in the village were given the go ahead.

Members of Bromsgrove District Council’s planning committee voted unanimously in favour of the flood alleviation scheme which will provide overflow areas for the Callow Brook during periods of heavy rain. In the initial plan, three pools were planned, but that was reduced to two for the final scheme.

The application, submitted by the North Worcestershire Water Management (NWWM) team for the area off Brook Road, was put forward after the issue was investigated and wildlife surveys were carried out.

The plan is to create two 70m by 20m or 30m storage areas which, combined, will hold just under 7,800m cubic metres.

The current risk of flooding is estimated to be somewhere between five and 20 per cent. Having 7,200 cubic metres of extra water storage space would reduce that to one per cent.

They will collect water during heavy downpours and, once the water level in the brook starts to reduce, the extra mass will be released further down stream.

Some of the soil which is dug out will be used to form low bunds which will act as dams to add further protection. The remaining soil will be spread over the existing football pitch in the south east corner to improve the playing surface and drainage.

During the work, the eastern footbridge will be removed and it will be replaced further east.

A total of 68 households were informed about the proposal and six site notices were put up. Four correspondences were received, along with two letters of objection and two letters in support.

Questions were asked about what would happen to water from the current drainage ditch to the back of Windmill Avenue and some said the scheme did not go far enough and three bunds were required.

Fiona McIntosh, the senior water management officer from NWWM, said: “I am thrilled with the outcome of the planning committee, and look forward to this long awaited and much needed scheme commencing.

“I would like to thank the local residents and councillors for their patience and cooperation.”

She added the third bund would not have been cost-effective and did not make financial sense.

The scheme is mainly being funded via an Environment Agency national grant with contributions from Bromsgrove District and Worcestershire County Councils.

Coun Peter McDonald, who represents the area on both authorities, said: “It has taken some 15 years plus to have something done that will virtually assure local residents they should never again be flooded out of their homes.
“Most of us could never imagine what it is like to fear a heavy downfall that could result in the loss of your home, your valuables and everything that is dear to you.
“The last flooding left local residents having to live elsewhere in temporary accommodation for over a year before their homes were habitable once more.
“The local residents should be applauded, for without there determination and will to fight over the years the proposed flood defences would never have happened.
“I and local councillors are over the moon that the flood defences have been given the green light and shortly local residents will be able to live a normal life without the fear of heavy rain storms.”

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