A RIVERSIDE community whose residents ‘live in fear’ when storms strike will finally receive better protection - after leaders announced plans to spend £2m to reduce the likelihood of future flooding in one of the worst-hit parts of Barnsley.

Yorkshire Water engineers are working to reduce storm overflows into the River Dearne near Barugh Green, which has been hit multiple times in recent years.

The project, which is being delivered by Sapphire Utility Solutions, is expected to be completed in November and will reduce the frequency and duration of discharges to the Dearne from the overflow on Dearne Hall Road.

Work is underway to build 297m3 of additional storage in the sewer network to slow the flow of wastewater during periods of prolonged or heavy rainfall.

The storm water collected in the new storage tank will be held until the period of bad weather has passed, leaders confirmed to the Chronicle.

Modelling indicates the new storage, once completed, will reduce the number of discharges to the river from the overflow to approximately ten per year, an 83 per cent reduction from the 2021 baseline.

Martin Ineson, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Our teams are delivering a £180m investment across the region by April 2025 to reduce discharges from storm overflows.

“There are four main ways we are doing this: building additional storage, separating surface water from the combined sewer system, implementing nature-based solutions to slow the flow of water and adjusting our network and treatment works.

“This storage project will mean a significant reduction in discharges to the River Dearne at Dearne Hall Road as we continue our commitment to reduce storm overflows.”

Storms Ciara, Denis and most recently Babet have all impacted Barugh Green, which resulted in a month’s worth deluge of rain falling in a day on each occasion, swelling the river to the point where it burst its banks.

Coun Steve Hunt told the Chronicle: “This is excellent news for all concerned and it’s been something that we’ve been calling for for several years.

“I know residents live in fear each time there’s a prolonged spell of rain as the Dearne’s level can rise very quickly as we’ve seen in the past.

“Hopefully this work will help control the water level and stop further instances of flooding, which hundreds of people have been impacting by across Barnsley.”

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard said climate change meant flooding worries were not going to go away and admitted there was still plenty of work to be done.

“One of my aims is to make the case for more funding for our part of the world because we need to get it right when it comes to flood alleviation.

“It can’t be right that people have sleepless nights, worrying about whether their homes are going to get flooded.”