Greyfriars Community Flood Scheme

Closes 31 Dec 2024

Opened 15 Nov 2021

Overview

Page created 15 December 2021, last updated 31 March 2022

Flooding in Hereford

Hereford is subject to significant flood risk from the River Wye and has flooded a number of times. The most significant flood events have been in 1960, 1979, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2012, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

In 2008 a Flood Risk Management Scheme was completed for the south bank of the River Wye reducing the risk of flooding in the Blackmarstone area of Hereford. Properties on the north bank of the River Wye situated on Greyfriars Avenue, Wye Terrace, Bridge Street and Gwynne Street do not benefit from a scheme and flooded recently in 2019, 2020 and 2021. We will refer to this area as the ‘Greyfriars’ community. The area is represented in the map below. These flood events impact on people’s homes, businesses and the local economy. 

Map showing the area covered by a potential scheme, inlcuuding Grey Friars, Wye Terrace, Bridge Street and Gwynne Street

Flooding in the Greyfriars Community

During the Winter of 2019/2020, consecutive storm events led to high-water levels on the River Wye. The riverbank was overtopped in October 2019 causing flooding at Greyfriars. Following Storm Dennis in February 2020 the highest ever river level of 6.11m was recorded at Wye Bridge river gauge. Flooding in some properties was a metre deep. The level was 11cm higher than the estimate of the historic 1795 flood. Greyfriars community was affected again in January 2021.

Flooding tends to occur when the river levels rise as a result of intense and prolonged rainfall in the Welsh Hills. Flooding from the River Wye in Hereford typically occurs approximately 48hrs following the rainfall events.

Background to a Flood Risk Management Scheme

Over the years a number of technical assessments have taken place to explore the possibility of a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding for the Greyfriars community in Hereford. Unfortunately a Flood Risk Management Scheme has not been viable to date. 

After the flooding in 2020, more funding was made available from Government for flood schemes nationally. This allowed us to re-look at options for a Flood Risk Management Scheme for the area.

We have started developing a potential scheme for the area. We are currently looking at options, building a business case, considering additional funding opportunities and talking with the community to help shape our thinking.  

Potential Scheme Details

Our consultants undertook a high level desktop assessment in 2020 to look into the flood risk in the Greyfrars community. This indicated a scheme could be viable. The project team are now progressing a business case to assess technical options and will carry out a number of surveys to help inform the potential outline design of the scheme.

As we are early in the process, we do not know how much funding is required and if we are able to go ahead with the funding available. We aim to make best possible use of the public money available and seek to maximise funding available through working in partnership.

Climate Change – what are the Environment Agency doing?

Climate change is the biggest risk we face – the most recent climate change predictions confirm we will experience wetter winters and drier summers, with an increased likelihood of more intense rainfall leading to flooding.

We’re already planning for climate change – we will take climate change into consideration during the design of flood defences at Greyfriars to make sure they are fit for the future. We also keep our data and modelling under constant review and examine it rigorously after every flooding incident. We plan for the worst case scenarios.  

Project Updates

More Information

We are currently developing the first stage of a business case for a potential Flood Risk Management Scheme at Greyfriars. To justify spending public money on a flood scheme we need to demonstrate through a business case, that the scheme would be technically feasible, economically viable and that it would be socially and environmentally acceptable. There are risks to project delivery that the Project Team needs to work through, such as securing funding, obtaining planning permission and relevant consents. However, the Environment Agency together with all partners are committed to driving forward the delivery of this project.

More Information

We received approval for the first stage of the business case in February 2022. We have commenced the next stage of the business case which is called Outline Business Case. During this stage we will be gathering technical information to help us develop a potential outline design for a scheme and provide us with detail for any application for planning permission. Some of the technical information will include:

  • Topographic surveys to help us understand underlying ground height levels to study flooding
  • Property Threshold Levels to understand which homes and businesses could benefit from a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding from the River Wye
  • Environmental Surveys to understand how a scheme could impact the local ecology and heritage. This will also help us consider any local environmental enhancement opportunities
  • Utilities Searches will help us understand any existing below ground services that we would need to be mindful of when designing and constructing any scheme

As the project progresses we will provide updates on what we have learned from the technical information and any additional studies we need to carry out to inform the scheme

Next Steps and Timescales

The following timeline is ambitious and subject to change. We have been working with our partners and key stakeholders to progress the scheme.

To ensure we justify use of public funding, when developing a scheme the Environment Agency is required by Treasury to go through 3 stages of developing a business case. Each stage requires different level of detail.

These are the timescales we are currently working towards;

  • Winter 2021/22: The first stage of the business case has been completed and approved 
  • Throughout 2022: Gather technical data to support the second stage of the business case for a scheme
  • Following the technical studies we will work on a potential outline design and will shape this with professional partners and the community in advance of any planning permission or final proposals

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We understand that you may have questions regarding Greyfriars Community Flood Scheme, we have put together a document that includes FAQs and other information that covers a wider range of questions regarding flood schemes. We hope this will be able to reassure and answer any questions that you may have about this potential scheme. The document can be viewed here.

Future public engagement

We want to work closely with the community and key stakeholders and are keen to engage with you throughout the project. We will share more detailed information about the scheme at key stages.

Updates will be published on this webpage or we can provide a hard copy to residents without access to the internet. We will run engagement events or provide updates either virtually or face to face depending on Coronavirus implications. We will contact residents to let them know when we plan to hold an engagement event.

Your local Flood Group.

We are working closely with the Greyfriars Flood Group who have provided us with information on the group and how to get in touch.

More Information

Introduction to Greyfriars Flood Group

Our flood group was formed during 2020 after the significant floods of the River Wye in October 2019 and February 2020, during which many properties in the area were flooded for the first time for many years. The group aims to represent the whole of the Greyfriars flood area. The area covered by the group aligns with the Environment Agency's Greyfriars flood area and includes those areas flooded to the North of the River Wye including Greyfriars Avenue, Fryers Gate, Wye Terrace, Bridge Street and Gwynne Street. A committee was formed in January 2021, and a contact email address for the group is provided below.

Purpose of the group

The purpose of the group is to represent residents living within the Greyfriars flood area in all flood related matters and improve the flood preparedness and resilience of the community, with a resident led approach to working with relevant public agencies and by working together.

Objectives of the group

The key objectives of the group are:

  • To identify flood related risk in the Greyfriars area and develop response measures and arrangements
  • To identify vulnerable households or individuals and offer information and support
  • To develop a flood action plan including identifying people and resources required to provide support during a flood event
  • To maintain contact with public agencies, provide updates to the community and facilitate communication from the community to those agencies
  • To promote and lobby for long term planning and implementation of flood mitigation and/or defence measures, including with the Environment Agency, Herefordshire Council and the MP.

Contact

To contact Greyfriars Flood Group or the Chairman, Colin Taylor, please send your message or enquiry to the following email address:

Email: greyfriarsfloodgroup@gmail.com

Keeping up to date- Sign up to our mailing list

Keeping you up to date on our progress with this scheme is very important to us. We will continue to provide updates through this information page and via engagement events. If you would like to receive notification about these updates or have any questions, please use the contact information below:

  • Email your contact details to enquiries_westmids@environment-agency.gov.uk quoting the scheme name of ‘Greyfriars Community Flood Scheme Hereford’
  • Telephone between 8am to 6pm on 03708 506 506 and we will add you to our mailing list.
  • Write You can also write to us at:
    Environment Agency
    National Customer Contact Centre
    PO Box 544
    Rotherham
    S60 1BY
    United Kingdom

Before signing up to our mailing list please read our Data Protection Information below: 

More Information

PLEASE NOTE – By providing us with your contact details you consent to the Environment Agency using the details provided to contact you with updates about the Greyfriars Community Flood Risk Management Scheme. We will keep your contact details until the project is closed or until you withdraw your consent, whichever is sooner. You can withdraw your consent to receive these updates at any time by emailing us at enquiries_westmids@environment-agency.gov.uk or calling 03708 506 506. We will not share your details with any other third party without your explicit consent, unless we are required to by law. The Environment Agency is the data controller for the personal data you provide. For further information on how we deal with your personal data please see our Personal Information Charter on GOV.UK (search ‘Environment Agency personal information charter’) or contact our Data Protection team. Address: Data Protection team, Environment Agency, Horizon House, Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AH. Email: dataprotection@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Remaining flood aware

We offer a free flood warning service in the Greyfriars community. Please make sure you remain flood aware and ensure you are signed up to our flood warning service. Visit www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings or call 0345 988 1188 to sign up to get Flood Alerts and Warnings by phone, email and/or text message. This is a free service. You can also check your flood risk on https://www.gov.uk/check-flooding

Alternatively contact our Flood Resilience Engagement Advisors at Floodresilience@environment-agency.gov.uk

Prepare Act Survive Alert

For more information about preparing for flooding, please visit the Herefordshire Council  website.

Thank you for visiting our project information page. Please keep visiting this page as we will be updating it regularly. This page will be open to the public until the end of the project.

 

Contact Us - enquiries_westmids@environment-agency.gov.uk or call our National Customer Contact

Audiences

  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation

Interests

  • Flood management