A Rugeley flood scheme which protects more than 270 homes and businesses has won the Institution of Civil Engineers West Midlands sustainability award.
This award recognises the partnership working that has delivered multiple benefits to the town and the people of Rugeley.
Before the £5.2million scheme, part funded by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, was completed, the risk of flooding to the town hampered further development and regeneration. Now development can go ahead, and planning applications which will see new jobs created have already been approved.
Other benefits include creating space for more sports pitches and making sure the flood defences were designed to allow HGVs bringing the popular Royal Charter Fair to the town could still access the site.
Environmental benefits are significant too. Measures were put in place to sustain and enhance a healthy population of endangered native white-claw crayfish and an eel pass has been installed to help eels populate the brook. A collapsed footbridge that is part of the Cannock Chase Heritage Trail has also been re-built reconnecting a popular footpath.
Will Groves, flood risk specialist with the Environment Agency, said: “It’s wonderful to see the Rugeley scheme recognised by this prestigious award, this scheme really involved the local community and many partners. We’re pleased to already see regeneration and growth coming to the town now it’s better protected from the risk of flooding.”
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE said: “I am delighted that this impressive project is now an award winner. The Rising Brook scheme is very good news for Rugeley, protecting town centre homes and businesses from flooding and making the town a better place to live, work and visit.
“It means that businesses will have a secure foundation when they make plans to expand, without the risk of their hard work literally being washed away. It is also creating an attractive green space for local people to enjoy.”
Vij Randeniya, Chairman of the Trent Regional Flood & Coastal Committee, said: “This is great testimony to everyone involved in the Rugeley scheme, an accolade much deserved for collective effort and commitment. Credit also to the Trent RFCC which continues to focus on the importance of protecting homes and ultimately people and their livelihoods from flood risk.”
Cllr Gordon Alcott, Economic Development and Planning Portfolio Leader for Cannock Chase Council said: “We are delighted that the Rugeley flood scheme has won this prestigious award. It recognises the importance of partnership working to deliver a much needed scheme which will protect homes and businesses for many years to come. The scheme also unlocks potential development opportunities which were previously constrained by the flood risk to be brought forward in Rugeley.”
The newly completed Rugeley flood scheme, which was delivered by the Environment Agency, will help to reduce the risk of flooding from the Rising Brook for 114 residential and 159 commercial properties. It also forms an integral part of Cannock Chase District Council’s plans to regenerate parts of the town centre.
The scheme was delivered by the Environment Agency in partnership with Cannock Chase District Council, the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Rugeley Town Council, Staffordshire County Council and the Trent Regional Flood & Coastal Committee.