A MAJOR project which will see culverts cleared and waterways redirected is stepping up on a flood-hit street to prevent future incidents, the Chronicle can reveal.
Families living on Lang Avenue, Lundwood, have had to endure destructive floods on at least four separate occasions in a decade.
Most recently, some were unable to return to their homes for more than a year following floods in November 2019.
Even in situations where rainfall isn’t heavy enough to cause the nearby River Dearne to burst its banks, many can wake up to waterlogged gardens.
Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis met with representatives from Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and Barnsley Council at the site this week.
He said: “It was very useful to be able to visit Lang Avenue and see for myself the vitally important work that is underway.
“Throughout my time as the local MP, I have been working hard to deliver a long-term, sustainable solution to the very long-running issue of flooding in the street - made ever more urgent by the devastating floods of November 2019.
“I have secured significant resources from national government to invest in our region’s flood defences and I am continuing to press central government to fund our South Yorkshire Flooding Response Plan - which would protect 10,300 homes and 2,800 businesses - in full.
“It is welcome to see that the multi-agency partnership is working effectively and that transformative flood defence and mitigation work is being delivered on the ground.”
Recent groundworks are the first in a three-phase, £1m scheme to clear and reform natural water pathways to direct water away from the Lang Avenue area.
Yorkshire Water machinery is being used to clear culverts under the Trans Pennine Way, allowing water to make its way to the River Dearne.
Jessica Green, from Yorkshire Water, added: “We were pleased to welcome Dan Jarvis to site and show him the progress that has been made to alleviate flood risk on Lang Avenue.
“We’re working closely with Barnsley Council, Berneslai Homes and the Environment Agency to reduce flood risk in the area.
“It is a complex issue, but by working together we have been able to better understand the cause of past flooding events and direct our resources where they will be most effective.
“When our initial planned work is complete we will be able to assess and determine what further investment may be needed, and also confirm maintenance and incident plans.”
Residents claim home insurance has been tough to obtain due to the threat from flooding, and houses have plummeted in value as a result.
A public engagement event was held in May, with another event planned for the autumn.
Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesman for environment and transport, said: “We’ve seen all too well the effect that flooding has on our communities and that’s why as a council we’re dedicated to working together with our partners to reducing the risk of flooding and the impact it has on our residents and businesses.
“I’d like to thank local residents for their patience and co-operation with all partners during these works.”