Esh Construction completes £7.4m major flood alleviation scheme in Cottingham

The scheme was essential to protect 4,000 properties from future flood risk.

Esh Construction’s civil engineering division has successfully completed a vital flood alleviation scheme that will protect 4,000 properties from future flooding.

Work on the Cottingham and Orchard Park Flood Alleviation Scheme (COPFAS) Phase 2 substantially completed in December 2020. Prior to this, the new facility was operational during episodes of severe wet weather over the winter of 2019/20 and again during Storm Christoph earlier this year, preventing flooding of nearby properties.

Eight cascading water attenuation lagoons with associated inlet and outlet structures were constructed in the £7.4 million project. While the lagoons will remain dry most of the time, they are still able to be farmed and crops planted. The large-scale rainwater runoff storage solution has the capacity to store over 300,000 cubic metres of floodwater, which is the equivalent of 120 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The village of Cottingham is located in the East Riding of Yorkshire, close to Hull City Centre. Following significant flooding in 2007 which saw thousands of homes and businesses damaged, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Environment Agency and Hull City Council embarked on a series of detailed flood modelling studies across East Riding.

Esh Construction was appointed to deliver COPFAS Phase 2 via the YORcivil2 Framework and has worked alongside East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Pell Frischmann and the Environment Agency to deliver the scheme.

Steve Conn, Divisional Director at Esh Construction, said: “This was a very challenging project, with large volumes of materials moved and placed throughout the year in a variety of weather conditions, whilst ensuring the tight specification of materials was managed efficiently throughout all seasons. We’re pleased to see the eight water storage lagoons now operating as designed and providing much-needed flood protection to thousands of residents and businesses.

“As part of the scheme we worked in partnership with YORhub’s YOR4Good initiative to ensure we left a positive legacy in the community. We teamed up with nearby Worklink – an employment training provider for people with learning disabilities and memory loss – to construct a memory garden which will provide benefits and enjoyment to their staff and visitors for years to come. I would like to thank everyone who volunteered their time to deliver such a rewarding initiative.”

COPFAS was funded through £14 million Flood Defence Grant in Aid and £5 million Local Growth Fund, secured by the Humber LEP and part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, as well as a £0.9 million land contribution from Hull City Council. Together with a second flood alleviation project in the area, Anlaby and East Ella Flood Alleviation Scheme (AAEFAS), both schemes will reduce the risk of flooding to over 8000 properties.

Councillor Chris Matthews, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s portfolio holder for strategic property and infrastructure, said: “It’s a real credit to the council’s staff and our partners that these two award-winning flood defence schemes are operational.

“We understand how much flooding can have devastating impacts on our communities so schemes such as COPFAS and AEEFAS are essential to reduce the consequences of future flooding in the East Riding.”

This was a very challenging project, with large volumes of materials moved and placed throughout the year in a variety of weather conditions, whilst ensuring the tight specification of materials was managed efficiently throughout all seasons. We’re pleased to see the eight water storage lagoons now operating as designed and providing much-needed flood protection to thousands of residents and businesses.”

Steve Conn, Divisional Director at Esh Construction
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