The Flood Resilience Group is a sub group of Littleborough Civic Trust and was formed following the serious flood event in Littleborough on Boxing Day 2015. The aim of the group is to keep the people of Littleborough informed of all aspects of flood resilience and to provide refuge for anybody who may be unfortunate enough to need evacuation in the case of a future flood event. The group is mentored by a member of the National Flood Forum and has contact with other flood groups around the country to share advice and experiences.
On Wednesday 14th August the group were on Blackstone Edge in the general area known locally as High Peak or Lydgate working with the Environment Agency; Rochdale Council; Liverpool University and River Ribble Trust, installing several water volume monitoring devices for run-off water from the moorland which ultimately ends up in Littleborough. Once the agencies are satified with the devices are correctly located and acheiving their intended purpose they will then hand them over to the group to monitor at regular intervals.
Again, Covid-19 has interupted this project but once allowed, the group will download the data and forward it to the agencies above.
We have not stood still during the Covid-19 crisis. We are having weekly Zoom/Skype meetings with many other flood groups around the country, hosted by the National Flood Forum. The theme (and what seems to be a common frustration nationally) throughout has been that local authority planning departments are unable to retain staff; thus understaffed and that planning applications are not given due diligence.
It is becoming apparent though that this somewhat stems from the Government's housing quota imposed on Local Authorities to reach the said quotas. All flood groups including us are beginning to formulate a strategy to take things forward at a national level.
Not the best of starts to the New Year, heavy, sustained rainfall over a few days had the River Roch in Littleborough almost at flood levels and subject to an Environment Agency "Flood Warning". Fortunately the river level peaked just below the red line and any serious flooding was avoided.
Lots of low lying ground along the river however, did flood. Lots of photos/video on Discuss Littleborough showing this. One of the photos showed the fields in Smithy Bridge flooded, right where our joke of a council want to build 1000 houses!
The Group are continuing their regular Zoom meetings with the National Flood Forum who have written to Flood Groups asking for feedback from them of their own experiences when dealing with local authorities concerning planning applications in flood risk areas. The aim is to provide information and guidance to people who may not be familiar with planning systems. Littleborough Flood Resilience Group's response can be read by clicking here