Three flood defence schemes for Sunderland, Washington and Houghton totalling £1.2m get the go-ahead

Roker Park, Sunderland.
Roker Park, Sunderland.

Flood defences worth more than £1m have been approved by city leaders.

Sunderland City Council’s ruling cabinet approved the £1.211m cost of the three flood alleviation schemes at this Monday’s (April 8) extraordinary meeting.

The decision includes funding for works in Roker, Washington and Houghton.

The projects receiving funding include:

Roker Park culvert

The culvert starts in Southwick, runs under existing homes and ends at Roker Park’s boating lake.

Surveys found damage and several areas at “risk of immediate collapse” in need of essential repairs.

According to a report for councillors: “Flooding issues have been reported within the vicinity of the culvert and it is likely that the poor condition of the culvert is contributing to this flooding.”

Gravel Walks culvert, Houghton

The culvert carries flow from Houghton Burn to the junction of Gravel Walks, before falling back into the burn.

Between 2002-2017, five flooding incidents have been reported around Market Place.

Recent surveys have found corrosion on steel covers and recommended a concrete cover be installed to reduce the risk of collapse.

A report adds: “Following on from the inspections, a flood model was created to replicate a blockage within the existing system.

“The model showed significant increase in flooding to more properties located within the vicinity of the culvert. “

Holley Park, Washington

Homes, schools and businesses near the park have faced regular flooding over the last six years.

In 2012 this led to the temporary closure of Holley Park School and Lambton Primary School.

A cabinet report states the main flooding risk includes surface water from heavy rainfall running overland.

It adds: “The historic maps show that an old watercourse was running along the southern edge of Holley Park which now seems to have been culverted with a 675mm diameter pipe.

“There are a few footpath gullies located in Holley Park which are proved to be connected to the culverted watercourse.

“The existing flooding problem confirms that these gullies are not sufficient.”

Proposals welcomed

The proposals were particularly welcomed by Coun Louise Farthing, cabinet member for Children, Learning and Skills, who said she has lived near all three sites of planned works.

She added: “Lambton Primary School hasn’t just been flooded once, it’s been flooded several times, as has the nursery.

“It’s an area that needs attention and when this work starts we also have a volunteer team looking to improve the area and the work that has been done so far has been exemplary.”

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service