The £28 million project aiming to protect around 1,400 properties from flooding in Birmingham has started its access preparation work on Phase II, with main construction works being scheduled to start in late spring/early summer. Phase II will include the building of a new embankment to increase the capacity of the existing storage area at Forge Mill in the Sandwell Valley.
Those visiting the area must know that even though the park will remain open during ongoing works, tree felling operations will be carried out over the next few weeks. HGVs will also be moving through the access routes by Forge Mill Farm and the railway bridge by the RSPB centre. However, park users will be given priority to keep disruption to a minimum.
Additionally, both Forge Mill Farm and the RSPB will remain open during construction work and a path between the two buildings will be created to allow public access. Handsworth Golf Course will also be modified to support the scheme, but it will remain open as usual.
“This is a very exciting scheme that is going to reduce the risk of flooding for 1,400 properties in the area. We have been working closely with our partners and the local community to ensure that we minimise disruption to the park users and keep the community informed as we progress through the construction phase,” said Rachel Kelly, Environment Agency project lead for the scheme.
Councillor David Hosell also commented on the scheme saying: “council officers have worked hard with the Environment Agency to ensure that the scheme has minimal effect on visitors to the Valley”.
“We are delighted that part of the scheme and work in the Country Park will include new fencing for improved animal pens at Forge Mill Farm, extending it as a visitor attraction. There will also be improvements to the entrance into the park for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders entering from the Old Newton Road.”