Wetland habitats form part of new Preston and South Ribble flood defences plan

Posted on - 21st December, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, Broadgate, Penwortham, Photos, Preston News, South Ribble News, Walton-le-Dale, Wildlife and Conservation
A map of the locations. Pic: The Flood Hub

The Preston and South Ribble Flood Risk Management Scheme proposes to better protect around 4,800 residential properties as well as over 300 businesses from direct flooding from the River Ribble and the River Darwen.


The current flood defences were built between the 1920s and the 1990s and are reaching the end of their design life.

New defences will reduce flood risk to properties and infrastructure in the area. Public green space will also be enhanced as part of the flood risk management scheme.

Using the concept design developed by the council’s landscape architect, a variety of wetland habitats will be created within a new network of footpaths.

The design includes dipping platforms, which will allow people to interact with the new habitat.

Proposals for the River Ribble

The Environment Agency has a statutory obligation to ensure the projects do not adversely impact on protected species or their habitats.

This includes animals such as bats, otters and great crested newts.

Here are the proposals to help with the flood defences in each area:

Reach A: Broadgate


Replacement of the existing concrete wall, with a new concrete wall, between Liverpool Road bridge and Penwortham Old Bridge.

Existing Wall Height: 0.75 – 1.23m. Proposed Wall Height: 1.20 – 1.60m.

After the flood defences are in place

Reach B: Riverside


A new concrete wall along the boundary of the BAC/EE Preston Social and Sports Association cricket pitch between Miller Gardens Apartments and Ribble Cottage (the 2 flood gates).

Existing Wall Height: 0. Proposed Wall Height: 1.16 – 1.22m.

After the proposed flood defences are applied

Reach B: Riverside


Replacement of the existing concrete wall, with a new concrete wall with glass panels on top, along Riverside highway between Penwortham Old Bridge and Miller Gardens Apartments.

Existing Wall Height: 0.78 – 1.08m. Proposed Wall Height: 1.63 – 2.24m (incl. 800mm high glass panel).

After the proposed changes

Reach B: Riverside


Reach B – Riverside: Replacement of the existing concrete wall, with a new concrete wall with glass panels on top, running on the river side of the road in front of the Continental Public House restaurant.

Existing Wall Height: 0.90 – 1.09m. Proposed Wall Height: 1.78 – 2.53m (incl. 800mm high glass panel).

After the proposed flood defences are applied

AReach C: Miller Park


A new concrete retaining wall along a ramped section of the main cycleway and earth embankment in Miller Park.

Existing Wall Height: 1.09m. Proposed Wall Height: 1.90 – 2.00m.

Miller Park after the additional flood defences

Area 2A: Penwortham Methodist Church

There is a proposed precast concrete flood defence wall. The existing wall height is 0m, and the proposed solid Wall height: 0.65 – 2.20m.

The Golden Way footpath also has a proposed solid wall height of 0.65 – 2.20m.

At the entrance to the church there is a proposed road ramp to raise existing road levels at the entrance to Penwortham Methodist Church.


The private access road into the church and the adjacent allotments will be raised by approximately 1m.

After the proposed flood defences

Area 2B: Riverside Road


Proposed replacement of the concrete flood defence wall, with precast concrete flood defence wall and glass panels on top, running along Riverside Road from the Cadent Gas Pipe Bridge to Stanley Ave (Upstream end of Riverside Road).

Existing Wall Height: 1.00 – 1.30m. Proposed solid Wall height: 1.70 – 2.20m (incl. 600-800mm glass panel on top).

What the area will look like once the flood defences are in place

Area 2B: Ribble Sidings


Proposed replacement of the 1.7m flood defence embankment at Ribble Sidings with 3.5m high flood defence embankment with a 3m crest width.

The existing riverside footpath (bridleway) route will be maintained with an access ramp over the proposed flood defences.

A new habitat area will be created on the dry side of the flood defence embankment.

An after image

Area 2C: Entrance to the church

Partial infill of the Network Rail dis-used underpass with 1.5m high solid concrete wall.

The project will begin in 2021 and ending in 2024.

During this time communities should expect disruption in the form of road closures, construction works, footpath and cycle route diversions, increased noise and the increased presence of contractors.

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Andy Brown, Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The Preston and South Ribble Flood Risk Management Scheme continues to move forward at pace despite the challenges faced from the current coronavirus government restrictions.

“We will shortly be submitting planning permission for Broadgate, Riversway, and Penwortham following continued engagement with the public and completion of detailed design for this part of the scheme.

“This is an important milestone in the scheme, moving us closer to being able to better protect 4,800 residents and 350 businesses in Preston and South Ribble against flooding.”

The Preston and South Ribble Flood Risk Management scheme is currently expected to cost around £49m to deliver flood defences.

£6.525m in funding is coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with further funding from other sources such as the Environment Agency Flood Defence Grant in Aid and from the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

Do the proposed flood defences make you feel safer? Let us know in the comments below.

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What do you think of the plans? Let us know in the comments.

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