Council to pay £3.4m for flood defences
- Published 10/04/12 6:00 am
High tides on the Mersey can flood Knutsford Road and surrounding areas and according to the Environment Agency there is an increasing risk of high tides in the future.
Homes and business are potentially at risk of flooding in various parts of the Latchford, Howley, Kingsway, Padgate, Westy, Woolston and Cinnamon Brow areas.
Tributaries such as Dallam, Sankey and Whittle Brooks also pose risks and parts of the Poplar and Hulme and Poulton North areas could also be at risk.
More than £18 million of the cost of the Mersey Flood Defence project will come from the Government, but £6.6 million is expected to come from partner contributions - and Warrington is seen as a beneficiary stakeholder.
Cllr Linda Dirir (pictured), the borough council's executive member for highways, transportation and climate change, in a report to the executive board, says there is a benefit to the authority.
New flood defences offer a potential for future development land and areas that could be identified for future economic growth through being less prone to flooding.
United Utilities (UU) are also considered beneficiaries of the scheme as they own land at Westy, near Kingway, which requires defence against flooding.
But the downturn in the housing market means the company are not in a position to build defences because of doubts over when development might take place.
To avoid leaving a gap in the defences, the Environment Agency has asked the council to support them in an undertaking to build defences at Westy.
The idea is for the council to reimburse the Environment Agency and recover the money from UU at some time in the future.
UU has already invested about £800,000 in investigations, planning approvals and development agreements and has agreed to review payment mechanisms and share designs at no cost to ensure no party is disadvantaged and also ensure the overall flood defence scheme is not compromised.
Cllr Dirir said funding for flood risks schemes granted by the Government is looked at more favourably if there are partner contributions so the scheme may not go ahead if partner funding became uncertain.
This would mean that future flood risks would increase - along with insurance premiums for residents and businesses in Warrington.