Flood protection schemes

We are working in partnership with the Environment Agency to provide improved protection from flooding for the city. We are planning to do this by building defences, storing floodwater in open spaces and by using natural flood management measures in the higher ground above the city.

The flood protection schemes are part of our citywide commitment to making Sheffield a greener city that adapts to climate change and manages flood risks more sustainably.

We are taking this action now to make Sheffield more resilient against the worsening impact of climate change. With predictions for warmer and wetter winters, heavier downpours in the summer, and more extreme weather events, the flood risk continues to increase.

At the same time we want to take the opportunity to enhance the city’s major waterways for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.

About the schemes

We have registered 6 flood schemes valued at £120million on the Government’s National Flood Investment Programme.

Together with the Environment Agency, we have already built one of these schemes - new flood defences in the Lower Don Valley at a cost of £20million.

In the future, the national programme will provide some of the capital funds for new schemes, but not all. We are required to match government grants with funds from other investors such as Sheffield City Region.

We have set a timescale to 2028 to deliver on our aim of protecting the city. This will give time to secure investment and deliver the schemes in phases.

We are backed in this work by the Environment Agency and Sheffield City Region. It is also supported by a range of other agencies operating in the city.

Sheffield Upper Don Valley flood protection scheme

The scheme has been developed to protect communities, major roads and development land in the Upper Don, Loxley and Little Don valleys from Stocksbridge through Oughtibridge and Hillsborough to the city centre.

We have consulted on a range of catchment-wide options for delivering a high standard of protection and have now drawn up our preferred measures. 

Early estimates value the full scheme at £53million. This is a considerable amount of investment so we are planning to deliver the scheme in phases to 2028 based on available funding sources.

We have already identified partner investors and funding for three phases that we are planning to deliver by 2021. These are:

  • phase 1 valued at £5.5million and financed by Sheffield City Region and government grant. Plans are to build defences on the Lower Loxley to protect homes and businesses at Hillsborough and Owlerton. The scheme is scheduled to start on site in summer 2020
  • phase 2 is being developed and priced ready for a business case to be submitted to the government and the Environment Agency this year. The scheme will protect communities and land scheduled for development in the Don Valley from Owlerton to Kelham. We are awaiting a decision from government on funding for the scheme
  • For phase 3 we have identified funding for planting up to 1 million trees in the Pennine uplands above the city. We are in the process of selecting areas for this reforestation scheme to achieve maximum flood protection benefit. 

Sheaf catchment flood protection scheme

The scheme has been developed to protect:

  • communities
  • major transport routes
  • the mainline railway
  • the railway station
  • development land in the Sheaf and Porter Brook valleys

We have consulted on a range of catchment-wide options for delivering a high standard of protection and have now drawn up our preferred measures. 

Early estimates value the full scheme at £40million. This is a considerable amount of investment so we are planning to deliver the scheme in phases to 2028 based on available funding sources. We are in the process of drawing up suitable phases and identifying partner investors.

Blackburn Brook flood protection scheme

The scheme is being developed to increase flood protection for communities in Chapeltown and Ecclesfield.

We are reviewing options to identify potential investment partners.

Sheffield watercourses culvert renewal programme

This network of underground streams plays an important role in draining the city, but it is ageing and in places is in poor condition. Surveys have identified nine culverts citywide that need renewing to prevent them collapsing and flooding city communities.

The 9 culverts pass through public and private land in: Stocksbridge, High Green, Parson Cross, Wadsley Bridge, Stannington, Fulwood and Millhouses. We have secured £3million for a scheme to renew and strengthen the culverts so that they remain in good condition for the next 70 years and continue to drain parts of the city.

The scheme is in construction and scheduled to be completed in 2020.

Three Brooks flood and environmental scheme, Manor

Working with Yorkshire Water we are piloting new sustainable approaches to draining storm water from large urban housing developments on the Manor and Arbourthorne districts. At the same time, the pilot will reduce the risk of flooding and revitalise three natural watercourses – the Car Brook, Kirkbridge Dyke and Jervis Lumb – that flow into the rivers Don and Sheaf.

The scheme is being rolled out across a 50-hectare area in the east of the city at Manor and Arbourthorne and is linked to new housing development.

New wetland detention basins are being built in parkland across the area that receive and store rainwater from development rain gardens and swales during storms. This system slows the flow of water, reducing the risk of flooding downstream in the Don and Sheaf valleys. The system also naturally cleans rainwater that lands on the road, removing pollutants from vehicles before allowing the cleaned water to pass into the watercourses.

As well as reducing downstream flood risk, there are other environmental benefits from adopting this sustainable drainage approach. The basins have been designed to increase biodiversity, creating natural habitats for wetland plants and wildlife. Less rainwater enters the sewer system, which helps to stop sewage overflowing into the watercourses and further improves water quality.

Natural flood management

Natural flood management (NFM) approaches can, in the right place, provide opportunities to manage storm water before it reaches the city’s main rivers. This can reduce the risk of flooding to city communities.

We have formed a Sheffield NFM Group together with environmental trusts and agencies that are involved locally in this area. The group meets quarterly to explore and co-ordinate natural ways to manage storm water.

NFM measures being explored include:

  • planting 1 million trees in selected locations
  • reconnecting tributaries with their natural floodplain
  • creating wetlands
  • storing water in woody debris dams
  • gully blocking
  • restoring natural permeable soils  

Aims of the flood protection programme 

To protect our communities, including:

  • 6,000 homes
  • 1,760 businesses
  • 32,707 jobs
  • £1billion potential damages avoided

To grow our economy, with the potential to create:

  • 27,000 new homes
  • 40 new businesses
  • 15,000 new jobs
  • 46 hectares of developable land
  • £150million economic growth

To transform our waterways, with the potential for:

  • reliable river maintenance
  • new recreation and tourism opportunities and businesses
  • generation of hydro power
  • improved health and wellbeing
  • regeneration of 30 hectares of riverside for people and wildlife
  • options for sustainable transport

Contact Flood and Water Management Team

Howden House
1 Union Street
S1 2SH

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