Flooding: Irwell Vale and Surrounding Areas

Part of NDAs: Universities – in Westminster Hall at 4:16 pm on 29th June 2022.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 4:16 pm, 29th June 2022

My hon. Friend makes some important points. It is always good to have conversations and debates on flooding with a group of interested colleagues, so that decisions can be made in a joined-up way.

Irwell Vale and nearby areas, including Strongstry and Chatterton, face a combination of risks from river, surface water, and groundwater flooding, which are all interconnected and therefore difficult to deal with in isolation. When flooding has taken place, the water has been very deep and fast-flowing, and has cut off access to communities, in many cases very badly. The EA recognises the importance of trying to alleviate the flood risk as much as possible, especially given the complexity of the risks. That is why the EA, working closely with partners including Lancashire County Council, has installed a permanent automatic pump to help reduce the frequency of surface water, and has done various works on banks and embankments in those communities, as well as having removed gravel.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale and Darwen mentioned that the Irwell Vale scheme is sometimes described as a linear scheme; he rightly said it was much more than that. The estimated cost of the scheme is £19.5 million. The EA has secured around £11 million for the scheme through various sources, such as grant in aid, a local levy and the assets replacement allocation. As he said, that leaves a funding gap of £8.5 million.