There may be sunny days predicted but the focus of activity near the Pershore Road this week is on major flood defence works to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 150 local homes and businesses in the Selly Park North and Selly Oak area of Birmingham.
The Environment Agency and Calthorpe Estates are at the start of tunnelling work of the £4 million project that will alleviate local flooding that was evident this time last year.
This week a major part of the scheme is being undertaken with a huge shield being buried beneath the Pershore Road that will channel any flood water from the Bourn Brook to the River Rea, reducing the risk of flooding to nearby properties. This will operate in conjunction with improvement works to an existing storage area upstream at Harborne Road.
The shield, that is almost 2.5 meters in diameter (high enough to stand inside), has had to be delivered carefully on cranes. The tunnelling will remove almost 4000 tonnes of material.
Once the shield, that looks like a giant pipe, is installed, it will help manage future flooding, reducing the risk of water from the Born Brook spilling onto the Pershore Road and affecting properties in the Selly Park north area.
As part of the project, land will be raised on two plots to ensure that the future Pebble Mill development is safely above the flood level and that flood flows are directed to the new bypass culvert running underneath the Pershore Road. This will reduce the risk of flood water getting onto the highway and being routed towards the community.
Ralph Minott, Director of Development at Calthorpe Estates said; “Through our involvement in the Rea Catchment Partnership, we have witnessed first-hand the suffering of homes and businesses in Selly Oak North. Working in partnership and providing a significant financial contribution, we will be able to make a real difference to the community here and the Environment Agency‘s major flood defence scheme should reduce the misery of the local community.
“The work’s planning has been focussed around the least disruption and the laying of the shield is the most dramatic part of the work being undertaken.”
Under the planning approval, Calthorpe Estates and the Environment Agency have considered the natural habitat and how this can be protected.
The project will have been completed by the end of this year.