Working together for a resilient Birmingham.

Perry Barr and Witton Flood Risk Management Plan

There are approximately 1,400 properties at risk from this section of the River Tame, including 950 residential properties. The Environment Agency, supported by Birmingham City Council, is proposing to repair and improve existing defences and build new ones. This includes increasing the capacity of an existing flood storage area in the Sandwell Valley.

The Perry Barr and Witton Flickr album shows the impact of previous flooding and some of our ongoing work in the area.

Latest news

The Environment Agency has now begun the wall improvements and will carry out river channel works through Witton, down to Gravelly Industrial Estate. Construction work should be complete by July 2016.

The construction update outlines the timing and location of the works. We will also provide this information and future updates on this webpage and on the notice board in Witton which we have installed at the junction between Deykin Avenue and Tame Road.

The latest Neighbours Newsletter (Spring 2015 edition) is available from the Witton Community Centre or upon request. You can find details on how to get in touch below.

Proposed solution and timescales

To reduce the delay to the scheme construction, the Environment Agency is proposing to build the 2 phases separately:

  • Phase 1: flood wall and flow conveyance improvements through Witton and down to in Witton Gravelly Industrial Estate.
  • Phase 2: increased flood storage at Forge Mill.

Phase 1 consists of rebuilding the existing flood walls along Brookvale Road, constructing new walls alongside Atlas Industrial Estate and at the back of the warehouses along Tame Road. In addition, works will be undertaken to stop water flowing underneath the railway line between Electric Avenue and the A38 and a redundant sewer crossing the Tame at Walker Drive will be removed.

Detailed design has been completed for phase 1 and construction is due to start in spring 2015. Once completed phase 1 will provide a reduction in flood risk for Witton, but it will not raise the standard of protection significantly.

The current proposal for phase 2 is to construct an embankment to increase the capacity of the existing storage area at Forge Mill in the Sandwell Valley. An outline design has been completed for this phase and the Environment Agency is currently looking in more detail at the proposals to determine:

  • how we could construct it
  • how it will operate
  • how often it will fill
  • how much it will cost

Detailed design for phase 2 will be commencing in 2015. The aim is to submit a planning application for this phase of works in 2016 to enable construction to start in late 2016/early 2017 and be completed 12 to 18 months later.

Once phase 2 is complete it will provide improved flood protection with a 1 in 100 chance of a flood occurring in any one year.

The Tame Strategy

The Perry Barr and Witton scheme is 1 of 6 separate projects that take forward the recommendations of the River Tame flood risk management strategy. The strategy aims to reduce the risk of flooding to people and property along the River Tame.

Flood storage was not the primary option recommended in the Tame Strategy. At the time of the strategy the option to raise flood walls along the river appeared to be the most cost effective option. With further investigation it has been found that the ground conditions through Witton would make construction of flood walls too expensive, so the option of flood storage has been looked at again.

Community engagement

The Environment Agency has been engaging with the community regarding phase 1 over the past 2 years through a variety of drop-in sessions, newsletters, ward meetings and face to face meetings.

The project team will be available to answer questions about phase 1 construction works at:

Councillors’ Advice Bureau – Wednesday 12 August at 5:45pm.
Witton Community Centre
150 Deykin Avenue
B6 7BU

Public engagement for phase 2 commenced in the summer of 2014, and the first drop-in session was held in July 2014 at Hamstead Hall School. The second drop-in session was held at Forge Mill Farm shop in December 2014.

Further newsletters and drop in sessions will be organised during 2015.

Work with other organisations

The Environment Agency is also working with MADE during the design of phase 1. MADE is an organisation which has been successful in receiving funding through the Arts Council to encourage local people to think about the River Tame and what it means to them through a partner project called ‘Tamed’. Their activities have involved community days, guided walks, the reinvention of the Witton News, and school workshops. Information about community activity surrounding the scheme is available on the Tamed blog

As part of their involvement, the MADE artists have also been leading on the design of the cladding for the Brookvale Road wall in Witton and the potential inclusion of a community area within the design. Images of the designs are displayed at the Witton Community Centre and can be viewed on the MADE website

The funding for this scheme (Defra’s Flood Defence Grant in Aid) is only provided for work which directly reduces or manages flood risk to an area. The artistic designs are therefore not covered by the Environment Agency’s allocated budget, therefore third party contributions are required to help fund them.

On 29 June, MADE launched a crowdfunding page to help raise funds for these artworks, beginning an 8 week fundraising campaign.

Recognition of Community Support (RoCS)

Last year the Environment Agency launched Recognition of Community Support (RoCS). RoCS aims to recognise business and community groups who work with the Environment Agency to address flooding issues, either through direct contribution or contributions in kind. We have already received a great deal of interest in the scheme.

The RoCS has 2 different award levels:

Champion RoCS award. A business and community group who has made a large effort to engage with the flood risk management scheme, resulting in tangible benefits to the area and the community.

Participant RoCS award. A business or community group who has helped deliver the flood risk management scheme.

For more information on RoCS and to get involved please contact the Environment Agency using the details at the bottom of this page.

Flood insurance information

If you would like information regarding getting insurance or reducing your premium in areas that are at flood risk, please visit the DEFRA webpages.

Get in touch

To find out more about this scheme, please e-mail or call the Environment Agency’s Public Liaison Officer on 07540 630938.

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