New plans to stop flooding after people forced to flee homes

People living and working in Maghull continue to raise concerns about flooding, after hundreds had to evacuate their homes overnight.

On January 20, Storm Christoph caused widespread flooding, including that of the River Alt, and a severe flood warning was issued to people in the area.

Further concerns were raised when two major housing developments were given the go-ahead for land East of Maghull on Wednesday (March 17).

Though the council’s Drainage Engineer, Sam Dimba, said a flood relief channel would be built by developers, and that this has been modelled and testing, with further testing due to take place.

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This week, Sefton Council, the Environment Agency and United Utilities collectively signed a statement aimed at reassuring people in Maghull that solutions to reduce flood risk continue to be looked into.

Storm Christoph, the three bodies say, highlighted the need for them to come together to find improvements that would make a “significant difference” to Maghull and surrounding areas.

A new flood risk working group is to be set up with representatives from all three organisations.

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Cllr John Fairclough, Deputy Leader of Sefton Council and Chair of the new group, said: “Over the past decade due to a combination of severe weather events and instances occurring from rivers, sewers and surface water, we’ve seen significant issues in not just Maghull, but across Sefton.

“More needs to be done, and we will seek to find and drive investment into flood risk management across the borough.”

United Utilities says it continues to improve its drain networks in Sefton.

Jo Harrison, Director of Environment, Planning and Innovation, said: “We continue to invest in the sewer network across Sefton, including work in Maghull, involving a £4 million project in the Rock View area to help reduce the risk of sewer flooding, which is nearing completion.

“However, storm flooding is a complex issue with no simple answer. The drainage network includes pumping stations, culverts, watercourses, sewers and highway drains all operating and interacting together but under the responsibility of different agencies.

“Collaboration is key and we remain absolutely committed to working together to ensure issues are investigated thoroughly and measures are put in place to minimise the risk of flooding, and help protect the community.”

Andy Brown, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for Lancashire, echoed this, saying: “We’re working to better protect communities from the risk of flooding and make homes and businesses better prepared and more resilient through our long-term strategy.

“Alongside our partners we have already taken a number of steps to reduce the risk of flooding across Sefton such as routine maintenance activity, investment in flood defences and improvements to our warning and informing service.”