Have your say on flood prevention plans

TIME is running out to have your say on ambitious plans to safeguard South Yorkshire communities from flooding.

The Connected by Water Action Plan, which is out to public consultation until Friday, March 11, aims tackle the climate emergency by combining the construction of flood walls and barriers with “nature-based solutions”.

It was first conceived after floods devastated South Yorkshire in 2019 and was formally launched by councils and environmental organisations across the county earlier this year.

Councils, the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and other organisations worked together to draw up the action plan, which combines 144 actions and 100 projects with a total investment of £400 million to better protect over 17,000 homes, businesses and infrastructure.

The online public consultation aims to give people an opportunity to view the plan in full and give their comments.

You can access the plan at  by accessing it online at https://tinyurl.com/SYfloodplan.

Helen Batt, South Yorkshire area flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We’d really value local views to help shape these proposals. The plan is a living document, and we hope to have the opportunity to come and meet the community in the future to talk about our work to make South Yorkshire more resilient to the impacts of climate change.”

South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis said: “After the devastating floods across South Yorkshire, I fought for government funding to protect us from a repeat of the scenes we saw in 2019 — securing £80 million, which has helped towards the launch of today's flood catchment plan to protect the region.  

“This ‘living plan’ will continue to evolve based on what we learn over the coming months and years, but it will always ensure that we protect homes and businesses across South Yorkshire from the devastating impact of flooding.

“A key part of this is using natural solutions to cut flood risk — like tree planting and land management, because it doesn't just tackle flooding, it helps with nature recovery and gets us closer to our target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040 at the latest.

Climate change is leading to increased rainfall and rising sea levels which hugely increase flood risks, but by introducing nature-based solutions to the mix, we can break the cycle.”