How the council prepares for flooding

What we've done

Rochdale borough has experienced several flooding events in the past so we're actively trying to reduce the risk of flooding in the borough. 

Here are some of the actions we've already taken to reduce the risk of flooding or minimise the impact.

  • Since 2015, along with the Environment Agency and other partners, we’ve progressed a £51 million flood defence scheme, which is one the largest inland flood defence schemes in the north of England. 
  • As part of this, we’ve constructed 2 new storage reservoirs at Springfield Avenue and Townhouse Road in Littleborough. Together they can hold 12,000m3 of water, the equivalent of 4 Olympic sized swimming pools or 20 local pools and reduce flood risk for 66 properties, as well as helping to deal with flood issues in the wider area.
  • We've undertaken several flood alleviation measures, like raised walls and improvements to culverts and bridges, at Green Vale Brook, Town House Brook, Ealees Brook and Buckley/Hey Brook.
  • We completed the reopening of the River Roch in Rochdale town centre, which enables surface water to be fed into the river channel in the event of the river breaching its banks further upstream. The scheme brings flood protection for 40 properties in Rochdale town centre and improved drainage for a further 500 properties in the area.

Ongoing actions

We regularly:

  • Carry out annual maintenance on over 44,000 gullies each year.
  • Give an additional clean to gullies in known flood hotspots before winter starts.
  • Inspect and maintain the drains in known flood areas when heavy rain is forecast to ensure they're working properly. We then have 2 gully crews on standby to react to any one-off issues which may occur during the flood.
  • Inspect and maintain all highway culverts and trash screens.
  • Undertake an annual programme of drainage repairs to fix or replace defective drains to help prevent surface water run-off from entering the road.

Our next actions

We started building additional flood storage basins to improve flood defences in Littleborough in January 2022. We're placing them close to the Yorkshire border, between Littleborough and Rochdale town centre. Together, these will protect around 1,000 homes and businesses.

We aim to complete the second storage basin and additional flood measures going from Littleborough to Rochdale town centre by 2025.