Friday 4 April 2008 

Worcestershire Meet With Environment Agency

The previously announced meeting between Worcestershire County Cricket Club and the Environment Agency brokered originally by local MP, Mike Foster, has taken place. This meeting took place to discuss the ramifications from last summer and whether there was anything more the Club could do to help defend itself from future flooding and whether the Agency themselves had any thoughts.

WCCC Chief Executive, Mark Newton, says "As you would expect, it was a constructive meeting. We totally understand where we are in the list of priorities but the meeting did help us on a number of fronts.

The Agency confirmed a couple of things we already knew. The building of an Earth Bund around the ground would not work and would cost millions of pounds anyway. The water would still rise up through the grassed playing area and then have no way of dispersing naturally because of the bunds so a pumping scheme would have to be installed.

Dredging of the river is not the answer. It would have a minimal effect on flood levels in the winter whilst the Severn would become more like a canal with deep banks and therefore far less picturesque during the summer. The annual costs would be monumental.

However there is a known scheme involving the wet washlands just north west of Shrewsbury whereby a dam could be built to control the flow of water from upriver. The cost is tens of millions of pounds and is way down the list of priority schemes compared with flood alleviation schemes in other parts of the Country.

Our ground development scheme will ensure our key buildings will be built above the 1 in 150 year flood height so it is imperative we move this project on. The one area we will be looking at is better and quicker disbursement of the flood waters as they recede through improved drainage channels and better pumping systems.

We are committed to staying at New Road and short term contingency plans are in place if there is another summer flood. It would be a huge boost if government were to invest hundreds of millions of pounds into flood prevention measures along the River Severn but the reality is people's homes and personal safety are far more important than a cricket ground. As we do on a regular basis, we will continue our dialogue with the Environment Agency to keep up with future climate change trends."

© Worcestershire CCC