Scheme will protect hundreds of homes

Scenes of the Douglas Dam, Coppull Lane, Wigan
Scenes of the Douglas Dam, Coppull Lane, Wigan

IT has taken two years in the planning and building, but finally the dam which will protect Wigan homes is ready to be launched.

The dam which aims to stop water from the River Douglas flooding homes in the Swinley and Whelley area, between Coppull Lane and Leyland Mill Lane, is phase two of the £12m Wigan Flood Alleviation Scheme. The first phase was completed in 2008 along the river between Poolstock and the JJB Stadium.

The scheme, which reduces the flood risk to approximately 600 properties, will be launched on Friday, November 18, by the Environment Agency (EA) chairman, the Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury, at an event attended by members of the local community.

During a major surge, water would be held behind the dam to reduce the chance of defences further downstream in Wigan from being breached.

The EA has also extended its free flood warning service to more homes and businesses across Wigan. The new areas now covered include Millingford Brook, Ashton, and Borsdane and Hockery Brook at Hindley. Floodline Warnings Direct is a free service that gives advance warning of flooding via phone, text, email, pager or fax. The Environment Agency is urging homes and businesses to sign up and take advantage of the service.

To find out if you are at risk and if you are eligible for direct flood warnings call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit the Environment Agency’s website:

Simon Heckle, of the Environment Agency, said: “By issuing warnings when flooding is expected, we hope to give people the chance to take steps to protect themselves and their property.”