Skip to the content

First phase of Upper Don Flood Alleviation Scheme complete

Flood defences press release

The first phase of improvements to Sheffield’s flood defences are now complete in the Loxley Valley, Hillsborough. The Upper Don Flood Alleviation Scheme aims to protect 63 homes and 152 businesses from the damaging effects of flooding, like those seen in the area in 2007 and 2019.

The recently complete phase saw improvements to flood defences on the Lower Loxley, Hillsborough and Owlerton. The work included works within existing businesses and homes, sheet piling and building a series of walls all while considering the most effective way to protect the environment and ecology of the area. The removal of a redundant weir near Livesey Street also helped to improve the fish passage.

The Council is working alongside the Environment Agency and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority on the wider Upper Don Flood Alleviation Scheme. It aims to protect communities, major roads and development land in the Upper Don, Loxley and Little Don valleys from Stocksbridge through Oughtibridge and Hillsborough to the city centre.

Works in progress to better protect business premises and residential properties in the Holme Lane area from flooding

Cllr Ben Miskell, Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, said:

“The council is committed to protecting all residents in the city from flooding and has played a leading role in the delivery of this important project.

“With predictions for warmer and wetter winters, heavier downpours in the summer, and more extreme weather events as a result of climate change, Sheffield’s flood risk continues to increase and we recognise the importance of building our resilience and taking action as soon as possible.

“The Upper Don Flood Alleviation Scheme, along with the range of other measures we are implementing across the city, will provide residents security, enable businesses to invest and grow and keep our great city moving.”

Stewart Mounsey, Yorkshire area director at the Environment Agency said:

“This scheme in the Loxley Valley not only provides an improved level of protection to homes and businesses, but also benefits local habitat by removing barriers to fish migration.

“This is part of a catchment-wide approach using engineered defences as well as natural flood management techniques in the upper reaches to hold back and slow the flow of water, reducing flood risk downstream. This is one of our ambitions through our work with the Connected by Water alliance to tackle the impacts of climate change across South Yorkshire.”

L-R:Stewart Mounsey, Yorkshire Area Director at the Environment Agency, James Mead Sheffield City Council Service Manager - Flood and Water, and Cllr Ben Miskell, chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee. The group stand beside the river opposite an example of the new flood defence works. 

David Glossop, General Manager of Towsure Products Limited, said:

“Over the years our small family business has witnessed the devastation and impact local flooding has had on businesses and residents. In 2007, flooding caused huge destruction to our Holme Lane superstore in Hillsborough that left our premises closed for over 12 months, a moment in our 56-year history never to be forgotten.  Sheffield City Council’s flood defence work is hugely welcomed and gives both businesses and local residents the reassurance we will not see a repeat of such devastation in the future.”

The Upper Don Flood Alleviation Scheme is one of six flood schemes in Sheffield working to improve protection from flooding in the city. The Council plans to do this through a range of methods, including by building defences, storing floodwater in open spaces and by using natural flood management measures in the higher ground above the city.

The flood protection schemes are part of the Council’s commitment to making Sheffield a greener city that adapts to climate change and manages flood risks more sustainably.

The flood defence schemes in Sheffield are:

  • Upper Don Flood Alleviation Scheme
  • Sheaf Catchment Flood Protection Scheme
  • Blackburn Booke Flood Protection Scheme
  • Sheffield Watercourse Culvert Renewal Programme
  • Three Brooks Flood and Environmental Scheme
  • The Lower Don Valley Flood Protection Scheme – completed in 2017

Further details about these schemes can be found on the Sheffield City Council website.

The River Loxley impacting residential properties at Rudyard Mews during a flood event in 2007

Notes to editors

About Connected by Water

Connected by Water is a South Yorkshire alliance working with communities and businesses to build flood resilience and reduce the impact of the climate emergency. Since November 2019, the alliance has been working together, not only to deliver flood risk management schemes on the ground, but also to plan catchment-wide measures for the future to help meet the challenges of climate change.  
The alliance is between the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, City of Doncaster Council, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield City Council, Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency.