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Flood Protection: Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire

Flood Angel® Flood Defender™ Barrier shown in use to protect a local shop window

CLIENT

Malvern District Council

CONTRACT PERIOD

2010

THE PROBLEM

Tenbury Wells is a small town in Worcestershire that lies on the south bank of the River Teme.  Markets are held three times a week; giving Tenbury it’s well known status as a rural market town.

Tenbury Wells has been victim to devastating floods over the last few years. The worst took place in the summer of 2007 causing the town to be almost completely submerged in flood water following days of persistent heavy rain. This in turn caused the River Teme to burst its banks, locals referred to this scene as ‘the rain coming down the roads like a river.’

A few weeks later flooding struck for a second time, with failed drainage works to blame. This event resulted in untold damage to the town including a visitor’s toilet block that had opened just that month. Businesses had to close, electricity was down and residents had to evacuate their homes. This left the local community totally demoralised as damage caused by flooding was becoming a reoccurring nightmare.

THE SOLUTION

An agreement was reached between Malvern District Council and the residents of Tenbury Wells in which the residents would pay 20% and the Council would cover the remaining 80% to provide flood mitigation solutions to at risk properties, many of which are listed buildings.  Once the money was allocated, a list was put together for the homeowners themselves to choose who they would like to commence with the work. UK Flood Barriers had the advantage of being a local company and the Flood Angel® product range clearly met the needs of the residents, whilst complying with Listed Building Control.

In order to accommodate the 150 properties involved in the scheme the project was split into phases, beginning in 2010 and later extended to the beginning of 2012. The properties included a mix of homes, pubs, shops and a cinema. Among these properties was a number of listed buildings, UKFB worked closely with Listed Building Control in order to adhere to English Heritage requirements. The Flood Angel® Flood Defender™ Barrier was used in these circumstances due to its ‘invisible’ fixing system.

A range of Flood Angel® products were used for the remaining properties including, Flood Defender™ Barriers, Anti-flood Airbricks, Waterstop, as well as repointing, sealing cable, service entry points and Sumps and Pumps.

It soon became apparent that additional measures were required in order to minimise flood risk into cellar hatches, particularly those at the local pubs. Our experienced product development team worked together to innovate a temporary solution for this requirement. This entailed a simple cover to stop flood water from entering. However a need for a permanent, breathable solution was quickly identified, so our in-house design team worked to alter the design creating an aluminium box that could house two Anti-Flood Airbricks. This would allow essential airflow into the cellar whilst the integral automatic flood gates inside the Anti-Flood Airbricks would only activate as necessary in flood conditions.

FEEDBACK

“Malvern Hills District Council was faced with the problem of regular flooding in Tenbury Wells for which there was no overall viable flood protection scheme.  We elected instead to seek partnership funding from Defra and the Midlands Regional Defence Committee for an Individual Property Protection scheme, with additional funding from residents and the district council.  The total funding secured from all sources totaled £450,000.

A detailed survey was carried out by independent consultants of the 225 properties at risk of a 1:100 year flood event and then used to procure a panel of contractors able to meet the technical. Operational and logistical demands of the project. UK Flood Barriers Ltd were successful in their tender to be a panel member.

Over the following two years, as the project was implemented, UK Flood Barriers were chosen most often by property owners to carry out work on their properties.  Initially such decisions (made entirely by owners) were based on the fact that UK Flood Barriers were seen to be a local supplier and able to provide ready support before, during and after installation.  As local experience with the company grew, so more and more owners chose to use the company because of the strong reputation they developed for their pragmatic and helpful approach to resolving difficult flooding problems. 

As project manager for the whole scheme, I found the communication with UK Flood Barriers to be excellent and was always able to resolve detailed problems quickly and easily with their staff.  They also readily brought considerable problem solving skills and resources to help develop individual and innovative solutions to difficult situations, especially around water ingress from the streets into cellars of older buildings.   The sales and technical support has been excellent and I am grateful to their team for the way they have delivered individual property protection to such a variety of old properties in an urban setting.

Flood events, since the major flooding of 2007, have mercifully been relatively few. However, when the defences have been needed they have worked successfully.  More importantly they have given much increased peace of mind to property owners and rebuilt confidence in the viability of the town.”

David Rolls

Performance & Policy Manager
Malvern Hills District Council

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