Mott MacDonald supplies plans for North Lincolnshire flood defences

20 September 2018 3 min. read

The drive to prepare the Don Valley area for flooding in the future has taken a major step forward, with construction commencing on £13 million defence plans. The designs put forward by Mott MacDonald are expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The 2007 floods along the River Don caused major social and economic damage to Lower Don Valley. One of Sheffield’s major waterways, the River Don, which flows through Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, burst its banks, in a flood which claimed two lives, and laid waste to a large number of properties and businesses in affected areas. The direct economic damages of the disaster spiralled into the hundreds of millions of pounds, just months before the nation would go into a state of economic shock now known as the credit crunch.

Since then, the river has remained prone to flooding, alongside its former tributary, the River Trent, thanks to deforestation in the UK, among a plethora of other factors, making it more than likely that the Don Valley will see further flooding in the future. In 2013, a localised breach of flood defences for the Trent, as well as the ever-present risk of flooding in the area, saw a major construction project hampered. Lincolnshire Lakes is a strategic £1.2 billion regeneration project, which will eventually see six new lakeside villages created on a former flood plain. It is anticipated that 6,000 homes, a business park, office accommodation and sports and recreation facilities will be built among a series of five artificial lakes by 2028.

Mott MacDonald supplies plans for North Lincolnshire flood defences

Thanks to the growing likelihood of flooding, partially resulting from building on the flood plain of a river, extensive and resilient defences are needed to be installed to protect both future development plans and existing properties. To that end, construction work has commenced on a multi-million flood defence project by North Lincolnshire Council, having been drafted by consulting firm Mott MacDonald. The engineering firm delivered the detailed design of the project on behalf of North Lincolnshire Council, having recently completed a similar task for Sheffield City Council, and the UK’s Environment Agency.

During the engagement, Mott MacDonald carried out an extensive options assessment of the existing earth flood defences, finding that repairing and raising these would not provide the resilient, low-maintenance solution required. Instead, the firm supplied a new design solution which will now see the £13.3 million construction of 3.8 kilometres of sheet piles installed along the right bank of the River Trent, providing significant flood protection to the village of Burringham.

Other services the consultancy delivered included flood modelling and risk assessments, ecological surveys and screening, planning application and environmental statement advice, stakeholder engagement and the drafting of construction specification documents. The project has an expected completion date of summer 2019.

Commenting on his firm’s work, Lee Geddes, a Project Manager at Mott MacDonald, said, “Gaining planning consent for this environmentally sensitive project was the culmination of a lot of hard work and collaborative effort from North Lincolnshire Council, the Environment Agency and Mott MacDonald and a real achievement for all involved.”