Massive two mile long flood wall plan for Lancaster

Plans to build a two mile long flood wall along the river Lune between Halton and Lancaster have been revealed.

canals - the Lune aqueduct
canals - the Lune aqueduct

Lancaster City Council has submitted plans for a flood management scheme which would see a flood wall being constructed between the Bay Gateway bridge near Halton, and Skerton Bridge.

A section of wall would also be constructed on the west bank of the river off Halton Road/Main Street.

If planning permission is granted, work would start in January 2019.

canals - the Lune aqueduct

A diversion for the Millennium Path would be set along Caton Road.

The wall would vary in height between half a metre and two and half metres, to reflect the lay of the land, and would be up half a metre thick.

Nine “up and overs” are being proposed to give access to the Millennium Path for pedestrians, cyclists, and people with disabilities.

Funding from the Environment Agency, United Utilities, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council has been secured for the scheme.

Lune Aqueduct, Lancaster Canal

The plans state that all existing footpath/cycle access points to River Lune Millennium Park will be retained and the surface of the existing footway will be improved where required.

A number of new sections of path are proposed, which will replace short sections of path to be stopped up. These new sections will use the same materials as

the existing path.

The inclusion of up and overs in the design will ensure inclusive accessibility without compromising the effectiveness of the wall as a flood defence.

Skerton Bridge

In 2015, Storm Desmond and the resulting floods affected a vast area of land to the east of the river along Caton Road.

The industrial estates, business parks and retail parks situated along Caton Road were badly disrupted by the floods.

While activities have eventually resumed, some businesses have moved away and those that remained have reported difficulties in securing ongoing flood insurance.

A report said: “At present the area is at risk from a 1 in 20-year flood event; this risk threatens to deter existing businesses and dissuade new business from establishing in this area of Lancaster.

“In order to ensure that Caton Road remains a key employment centre, there is a need to provide effective flood protection.

“Flood modelling demonstrates that the Proposed Development would reduce the flood risk across the area from the current 1 in 20-year event to a 1 in 100-year event.”

The works on the left bank of the River Lune are divided into five sections, with the works on the right bank comprising the sixth section.

Construction of each section will progress concurrently, with the anticipated 56-week construction period concluding by February 2020.

To enable the 56-week construction period, weekday working between 8am to 6pm is anticipated, with occasional Saturday working.

The walls will be constructed of concrete, with natural stone being used near to Skerton Bridge, The Lune Aqueduct and the section proposed on the right side of the river.

Sections of wall that will be publicly visible, which are predominantly sections fronting the cycleway, will be finished with patterned concrete, and the remaining sections will be finished in plain concrete.

Sections of permanent, wall-mounted security fencing are proposed along the boundary of the wall with the industrial estate.

Following construction, affected sections of cycleway will be reinstated to match the existing black bitmac surfacing and pre-cast concrete pin kerbs. Lighting columns are proposed along the cycleway and these will be designed to match existing columns.

The Proposed Development will lead to some vegetation loss; however, also includes significant planting of individual deciduous and evergreen species, deciduous woodland mix, native species hedgerow mix and grass seeding wherever possible throughout the Application Site, to replace and provide a more varied habitat and riverside experience.

Replanting at a ratio of at least three new trees for every tree lost is proposed.

During construction, the Application Site will be divided into six sections; each section will have a designated access point. Within the Application Site, construction vehicles will navigate along the cycleway.

A daily average of ten deliveries to each section is forecast. This would include ready-mix concrete wagons delivering concrete.

A Designated Traffic Marshaller will be responsible for all traffic arriving and departing the site to join the A6 Caton Road.

Within the Application Site, Traffic Marshallers will be present during all reversing operations.

The cycleway and public rights of way running through the Application Site will be temporarily diverted along Caton Road during the construction period. The southern extent of the diversion will tie into the riverside cycleway south of Skerton Bridge and will tie in at its northern extent just west of the A683 viaduct. The diversion will utilise existing infrastructure along Caton Road, part of which includes designated cycle infrastructure at junctions.

No road diversions are anticipated or planned.