THE detailed designs for the first phase of a £46 million scheme to protect hundreds of homes from flooding have been submitted to Bury Council for consideration.

Radcliffe and Redvales were among the worst hit when the River Irwell burst its banks on Boxing Day 2015.

Now, the Environment Agency (EA) has issued plans for Phase 1a of a long-awaited scheme to protect 870 properties in the event of a future flood.

If given the green light, a series of sheet piled walls and embankments will be installed in Close Park and Dumers Lane.

Subject to approval, construction for Phase 1a will begin in early summer 2019.

Under plans, a sheet pile wall, between 1m and 3m high at different sections, could be built between the River Irwell and Dumers Lane.

A 2m flood embankment is also proposed at the south of Morris Street.

The second instalment of the work could see a 3m flood wall built at the rear of properties in Parkside Close, and a 3m-high earth embankment on the far side of the park.

This embankment would integrate a footpath and landscaping “to soften the overall appearance”. The football pitches would act as a floodplain.

Since the last public meeting in mid-October, changes have been made to the proposed materials and plans for the pavilion in Close Park.

Andy Cameron, Senior Flood Risk Management Advisor at the EA, said: “The overall layout of the scheme is the same as at the last consultation.

“Changes have been made to the construction measures. A wall is being installed where the river is eroding.

"We are using a sheet pile wall, cladded with timber, which will have interlocking steel sections driven into the ground. It is a much more secure design.

“We were originally looking at replacing the existing pavilion with a new two-storey pavilion but we are now spending more on the defences and speaking with both the Football Club and Sport England about minimising the impact.

“The design on the front of the embankment will have a terraced finish to improve the spectating area.

“We have positioned the defences so the same number of pitches will be maintained.

“In addition to protecting people from flooding, we want the scheme to enhance the local neighbourhood.”

Residents were invited to a drop-in session at Radcliffe Road Baptist Church to see the plans and speak with representatives from the EA and Bury Council.

Attendee Jon Bardsley, of Parkside Close, said: “I’m happy with the scheme overall.

“One of my main concerns was that they were going to fill in Bealey’s Goit but they are not doing that.

“They have been running tests behind our home and apparently they have gone well.

“It is so easy to say we are not going to get a flood like this again, so this is a complete waste of money.

"But when you think about people you know who have been flooded, we are lucky to have this scheme built. It has got to be a reassurance. It is worth all the upheaval.”

Resident Colin Graham, of Ribchester Drive, Bury, said he and his wife have a large supply of sand bags at their home in case of another flood.

Mr Graham, aged 79, said: “The flood waters in 2015 came to the back of our fence.

“Water poured through the tunnel under the railway and flooded across the fields.

“From what we have seen, the plans are a good idea."

Cllr Rhyse Cathcart, who was displaced from his home due to the floods in 2015, praised the EA for their communication with residents throughout the process.

He said: "You do not believe it until you start to see it happen. It is fantastic that we are going to have protection.

"It is going to take us until the back end of 2019 but the EA has been open and honest. They have talked about completion in 2021 since 2017.

"Overall, I'm happy with the scheme.

"It gives us some peace of mind.

"The EA has communicated with residents and with the community really well, and the consultation has been really positive."

In recent weeks, the EA has been testing temporary defence barriers which will be used to be protect properties in the event of a flood prior to the completion of the permanent scheme.

On October 18, these were deployed in Close Park as part of a live training exercise.

An out-of-hours barrier deployment was undertaken by officials last Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Mike Vernon, Incident Planning Advisor at the EA, said: “We are trying to emulate all the possible scenarios.

"We began the latest deployment at 2pm so we hit traffic getting to the park.

"We had operational teams out responding to live incidents at the time.

“Even though it was dark, we completed the operation in less than six hours. We are learning from this and building on it.”

These temporary barriers, made from aluminium and galvanised steel, are stored at the EA’s Sale depot and will be used at locations across the country should they be needed.

Mr Vernon added: “People have responded really well. They recognise we are trying to help by protecting their homes and reducing the impact of flooding.”

To view the plans, search application number 63559 at