Flood work is set to end

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A £12m scheme to improve flood protection in Wigan is to be completed this autumn.

The Environment Agency has been working on the Wigan Flood Alleviation Scheme since 2009, splitting the work into two phases.

Phase one was completed in June 2009, installing barriers along the River Douglas between Poolstock and the JJB Stadium.

The second stage, costing around £5m, is a dam and water storage basin north of Coppull Lane, between Swinley and Whelley. Construction work began in October 2009 and is expected to be finished this autumn.

The £12m scheme will bring improved water protection to around 780 homes and businesses in Wigan which are at risk from flooding.

Last week, the Evening Post reported that members of Wigan Council’s economy, environment, and housing scrutiny committee recommended the authority approves the borough’s removal from Greater Manchester’s Indicative Flood Risk Area (GMIFRA).

This decision was based on a preliminary flood risk assessment by the authority and the Environment Agency (EA) which concluded there was not a significant risk posed from rising waters to the area.

But the EA confirmed the GMIFRA was separate from the Wigan Flood Alleviation Scheme, which has not been withdrawn and will remain.

Mark Garratt, regional inland overview manager at the EA, said: “We worked closely with Wigan Council on the preliminary assessment which looks at local sources of problems, for example, surface and ground water, and smaller non-main rivers.

“Therefore, it makes sense that the borough is not considered as a risk area for Greater Manchester because it only justs cuts into the borough.

“However, our Wigan Flood Alleviation Scheme is trying to manage the danger from the main river source – the Douglas – and that will continue as planned.

“The scheme will be completed by autumn and will bring improved protection.

“But when this scheme ends, that does not mean the end of our involvement in Wigan.

“We still have an active maintenance and inspection programme.”