Information on Leicestershire

Charnwood Flood Risk

Posted on 21/05/08
J. Milton

fire

A study, commissioned by Charnwood Borough Council, has found that nearly 16% of the total area of Charnwood is potentially at a high risk of flooding. This is primarily due to the risks of river flooding from the River Soar and its tributaries, the River Wreake, Rothley Brook and Black Brook.

This study has been commissioned to help direct new development to areas at the lowest probability of flooding. It will be used by the Council and the Environment Agency to inform decisions about where to allocate land for future development and whether to permit applications for planning permission.

Councillor Hilary Fryer, Lead Member for Development commented Historically development has been located close to rivers as they have provided communities with water, transport and energy. This has left a legacy of development at risk of flooding with the damaging consequences demonstrated by the significant floods, for example in 1998. It is therefore important that we ensure future development is located away from the areas of highest risk of flooding, wherever possible and this study will help us achieve this.

The study also investigated the potential impact of climate change. For the East

Midlands, interpretation of the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) model predicts (High Emissions Scenario):

By 2050, there could be up to a 15% increase in winter rainfall; and

By 2050, there could be up to a 30% decrease in summer rainfall.

and:

By 2080, there could be up to a 30% increase in winter rainfall; and

By 2080, there could be up to a 45% decrease in summer rainfall.

The study found that floods in the Borough tend to increase in depth rather than extent. This is due to the steep sides to the floodplain, which allow the water depth to increase without spilling out to wider areas. The information from this assessment will help the Council prioritise plans for flood defence improvements.

Further Information:

www.charnwood.gov.uk/environment/sfra

Charnwood Flood History

Feb. 1795 The great flood in Leicester and vicinity Feb. 1799 Failure of the Black Brook reservoir catastrophic flooding along lower Black Brook Nov. 1852 Great flood on the Wreake and Soar (deepest for 50 years) Jun. 1871 Flooding of the Soar valley from prolonged rainfall Jul. 1875 Properties in Leicester flooded to 0.6m depth by the River Soar, River Wreake also in flood. Jan. 1877 Flood along the River Wreake Jul. 1880 Severe flooding around Loughborough with damage to houses and infrastructure Jul. 1880 Barkby Brook rose 4m during flooding Oct. 1880 Flood along the River Wreake, Oct. 1882 Flood along the River Wreake Oct. 1885 Flood along the River Wreake May 1886 Heavy rainfall caused flooding along the River Soar Jan. 1895 Heavy rain/snow fall caused flooding along the River Wreake Jul. 1896 Flood along the River Wreake Feb. 1897 Flooding in Loughborough after heavy rainfall, flooding along River Wreake. Dec. 1900 Heavy rainfall caused localised flooding around Leicester 1903 Severe flooding of the River Soar Nov. 1906 Flooding along the River Soar 1-2m deep across floodplain Jul. 1915 Flooding along the Soar valley Jan. 1926 Soar Valley worst flooding in 40 years Melton Mowbray to Syston severely affected 1932 Severe flooding of the Soar Valley 1947 Severe flooding of the Soar Valley, Queniborough Brook Dec. 1948 Flooding along the River Soar - 5.5cm of rainfall recorded in a day at Prestwold Hall Dec. 1954 Severe flooding of the Soar Valley 1975 Flooding of the River Wreake and Rothley Brook 1977 Severe flooding of the River Wreake (also Rothley Brook) 1979 Flooding of the River Wreake and Rothley Brook 1981, 1982,

1987, 1989,

1992 and

1993 Flooding of the River Soar Apr. 1998 Severe flooding in Charnwood, principally along the Wreake, and then the Soar below its confluence with the Wreake Jan. 1999 Heavy rainfall and localised flooding. Damage to railway embankment at Rothley Dec. 2002 High river levels along the Soar, Wreake and Rothley Brook.

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