The Environment Agency has completed a £50 million flood risk mitigation scheme to better protect more than 1,400 properties – including 950 homes – in the Perry Barr and Witton area of Birmingham.
The major project has seen the construction of a new flood storage reservoir. The site is upstream of Perry Barr and Witton communities, and works to capture excess water from the River Tame during times of heavy rainfall.
The Perry Barr and Witton area has a history of flooding, with around 400 properties flooding in June 2007 at Brookvale Road in Witton. Earlier floods took place in August 1988, August 1999, and July 2007.
Richard Bentley, Environment Agency operations manager for the West Midlands, said:
“We’re delighted to have completed this major project which will help to better protect homes and businesses from flooding in the Perry Barr and Witton area. We know the devastating impact that flooding can have, which is why better protecting people, communities and the environment is our top priority.
“We’d like to thank people for their patience while we worked on the flood storage area, during which time some parts of the Sandwell Valley Country Park were closed off. The work includes a new circular route around this new section of the park which we hope the community will enjoy.”
Phase 1 of the scheme was largely completed in spring 2017, bringing new flood walls, flood gates and flow conveyance improvements. The improved flood wall and flood gates in Witton successfully stopped properties from flooding in May 2018 and again in February 2020.
The project has been supported by Birmingham City Council and Sandwell Council.
Councillor Liz Clements, cabinet member for transport at Birmingham City Council, said:
“This is really good news for the people of Perry Barr and Witton. It is vital that people and businesses are protected from the damage flooding can do, and this scheme demonstrates really good partnership working to support and protect communities.”
Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, leader of Sandwell Council, added:
“It’s great to see the scheme has been completed and is now providing vital flood defences to the communities further downstream on the River Tame. This project has seen improvements to the footpath network near to Forge Mill Lake and the River Tame, allowing better access for visitors to this beautiful location.”