Severn Trent is set to begin the first pilot phase of a multi-million-pound flood resilience project in Mansfield in early 2022.
Through it’s ambitious Green Recovery programme, the company is investing £76m in Mansfield using community integrated sustainable urban drainage to alleviate the risk of flooding during storms, in a trial never seen to this scale in the UK before.
Working in partnership with Mansfield District Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and other third-party funders, the project will look to achieve an overall investment of £85m in the town.
Mansfield is set to be transformed with new sustainable urban drainage systems, that will see communities more resilient against the increasing threat of flooding from climate change, population growth and urban development for years to come.
Working with Nottinghamshire County Council, Severn Trent is initially piloting this ground-breaking transformation in the residential area of Ravensdale, with construction set to commence in March 2022.Alongside the work in Ravensdale, Mansfield District Council are incorporating sustainable drainage, funded by Severn Trent, into their proposed memorial garden which is located in the town centre behind the Town Hall and due to start in early 2022. In addition to the Town Hall Memorial Garden site, Severn Trent plan to continue enhancing the town centre with several new rain gardens to capture and retain surface water during storm events.
Adam Boucher, Programme Lead for Severn Trent said: “This project truly is going to be ground-breaking not only for the people of Mansfield, but for the UK and internationally too. The threat of flooding is increasing, and this project will help create a blueprint for the future on how homes, towns and cities can be made more resilient against flooding. We’re going to be installing planters, swales, rainwater gardens and permeable paving, that all work together in slowing rainwater down and stopping the sewerage network from becoming overwhelmed. Although sustainable drainage isn’t new, it’s never been done on this scale and will reduce the need to dig up roads and make sewer pipes bigger, which is time consuming and more disruptive.”
Severn Trent will be looking to install around 15,000 green interventions across the district, in a series of ambitious projects set to take off in early 2022. Mansfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council will also be redeveloping areas of the town in a smaller number of projects with the support of Severn Trent.
“This is true collaborative effort, and it’s great to have support as we really strive for this project to take off and be a success,” adds Adam. “This smaller trial will begin in Ravensdale and parts of the Town Centre and help give us valuable learning and understanding of the project before we aim to ramp up and start in wider areas within Mansfield with the support of local Councillors. Throughout the project, there will be opportunities for communities to get involved, whether it be through teaming up with schools, customer groups and developers helping us to install these interventions.”
Councillor Ben Bradley MP, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We’re delighted that works on this innovative scheme in Mansfield are set to begin in early 2022.
“Communities in Mansfield, unfortunately, know all too well that flooding can cause devastation. We know that the future brings further risks from climate change and that’s why I’m pleased that not only are we putting measures in place to make communities more resilient for years to come, but also that we’re doing this in a way that trials green measures.
“This scheme is a win-win for Mansfield as it will bring about vast benefits, give communities the opportunity to get involved and put Mansfield well and truly on the map nationally as the first area in the UK to pilot a scheme of this kind.
“I can’t mention this scheme without mentioning our Flood Risk Management team who have been working closely with Severn Trent, Mansfield District Council, Via East Midlands and other partners since the scheme announcement was first made earlier this year.
“This close working relationship with our partners will continue as we look ahead to the next phase of Severn Trent’s scheme and I’m really looking forward to seeing this develop.”
Executive Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams said: “I remember my first conversation with Severn Trent about this innovative project and afterwards I described it as the most exciting Monday morning meeting I could remember.
“The reason for my excitement is that it aligns with our key priorities around tackling climate change and making Mansfield cleaner, greener and healthier. It fits in perfectly with our own plans to create a memorial garden, pocket parks and increase planting in the town centre. The project will not only alleviate the increasing flood risk that comes as a result of extreme weather events and climate change, but improve the look and feel of these areas. We are looking forward to working closely with Severn Trent for the benefit of Mansfield and its residents.”
The project in Mansfield will look to provide economic, social and environmental benefits, including job creation, improvements to health and wellbeing, increased biodiversity and a reduction in pollution.
The pilot will also create a blueprint for how challenges from flooding can be tackled and provide solutions to population growth and climate change using alternative sustainable drainage solutions. More information can be found on the Mansfield sustainable flood resilient project here.