Perry Barr flood risk management scheme, UK
Involving the whole community in flood management.
The Perry Barr and Witton flood risk management scheme is a nationally-significant project with huge social, environmental and economic implications.
Location: Perry Barr and Witton, Birmingham, UK
Date started: 2016
Completion date: 2021
Client type: Infrastructure
Key services: Project management, cost and commercial management, cost estimating.
Reducing flood risk
We have supported the Environment Agency (EA) since 2011, providing full commercial, project management and advisory services in the successful delivery of their flood and coastal erosion risk management programme, alongside habitat enhancement and wider business improvement initiatives.
In 2007 the areas of Perry Barr and Witton in Birmingham were devastated when the River Tame burst its banks and caused flood damage to over 400 properties. This EA scheme will reduce future flood risk along the river by constructing a 1.7 million cubic metre flood storage reservoir in the Sandwell Valley and flood defence walls through Witton. The project reduces flood risk for 1,379 properties with estimated financial benefits exceeding £440m.
As well as the benefits to properties and businesses, approximately 20,000 trees will be planted in the Sandwell Valley, creating a large wet woodland habitat and circular walking path. This will help naturalise the river, improving the area’s ecological biodiversity.
Our project team led the implementation of efficient and productive project management systems on the Perry Barr project, particularly from pre-contract negotiations, including cost management services to agree and evaluate the target cost at contract appointment.
Our team implemented change control procedures alongside business case updates to EA’s large projects board. These updates involved extensive workshops and communication with key stakeholders, bringing them together to share a collaborative approach to development in the local community. Our project management oversight has retained close control over the project, which is expected to complete in 2021.
Involving the community
This project is complex; unlike most standard infrastructure schemes it involves multiple landowners and the temporary flooding of an area over four square kilometres. Our current involvement is to lead the scheme as client project manager up to completion. Significant stakeholder engagement dominates this role, including nature conservation charity the RSPB, local golf club and school and Birmingham and Sandwell councils.
The project has held environmental days on site, bringing together the project team(s) and volunteers (including some from our organisation).