Published: Monday, 1st Aug 2022

A new Bolton Council scheme aims to reduce the likelihood of flooding in Horwich Town Centre.

The work, funded by the Environment Agency, starts on August 8 and is expected to be completed by December. 

The £1.8m project is designed to tackle a long history of flooding to properties in the town centre from Pearl Brook.

There have been six reported flooding incidents in the area in the last 20 years and the problem is expected to get worse due to climate change.

Up to 200 properties could be at risk of flooding during exceptional rainfall events.

The project aims to use part of Old Station Park to temporarily store flood water during large storms by using the existing embankments to form a storage basin.

Some new sections of embankment will be constructed to complete the basin in the area between Pearl Brook and St John Street.

The scheme has a lifespan of 100 years and to ensure the basin remains waterproof, some of the trees must be removed.

However, the council is looking into opportunities for a new planting scheme in other areas of the park.

The scheme has been designed to avoid the cobbles that once formed the station platforms as much as possible.

However, the council has committed to reusing the cobbles that must be taken up in the same area of the park.

The football pitches will not be affected but the children’s play area will be closed for the duration of the works.

A new play area will be constructed on the other side of the watercourse and the multi-use games area will be refurbished.

These will open late Spring/Early Summer 2023.   

Work to improve the highway drainage on Winter Hey Lane at the junction with Chorley New Road will also be undertaken in September.

Properties in this area are currently at additional risk of flooding from other sources.

Winter Hey Lane will be closed at the junction for approximately two weeks for safety reasons due to the narrow width of the road. Access to businesses will remain open and a diversion will be in place.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said:

“Whilst we cannot eradicate the risk of flooding completely, these works will mean greater protection to homes, businesses, roads and other infrastructure. 

“We would like to thank the public in advance for their patience whilst these important works are carried out.”