Sheffield homes set to benefit from sustainable drainage system

Residents in Sheffield are set to benefit from an innovative water management scheme designed to ease pressure on the city’s sewer system.

The sustainable urban drainage system – or SuDS – would reduce waterflow in Kirkbridge Dyke in Manor Fields Park and has been proposed as part of plans to build 148 new homes at Harborough Rise.

The plans would see the creation of a permanent shallow pond and wildlife habitat within the park which would hold rainwater during heavy storms and support new biodiversity.

The SuDS is being developed by Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) – the joint venture development company comprising of Sheffield City Council, Keepmoat Homes, and Great Places Housing Group – alongside Simple Life and the energy and regeneration specialists ENGIE.

Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency, and Sheffield City Council Lead Local Flood Authority have also taken part in consultation around the scheme.

Steve Birch, development manager with SHC, said: “The space and quality that our homes provide is very important to us and our customers. However, it is equally important that SHC developments are thoughtfully designed and create environmentally resilient places for Sheffield’s residents to enjoy both now and in the future.

“This project shows how the building of new housing is able to create improved amenity green space for residents and wildlife, and at the same time ease the strain on the city’s drainage system.”

The SuDS would work by the new pond holding small volumes of water which would support biodiversity and temporarily rise in the event of a storm, allowing water to dissipate naturally into the ground.

This would create larger capacity further downstream in the Kirkbridge Dyke, accommodating runoff water from the planned new homes at Harborough Rise and around Manor Park Avenue.

This in turn would prevent excess rainwater from flowing into the sewers, significantly reducing flood risk at times of wet weather.

SHC says that the unusual project – which forms part of the Sheffield Flood Risk Management Plan – would reduce the need for the typical approach of underground engineered surface water storage.

The scheme could also provide new natural assets for the local community to enjoy, such as a new wetland habitat, wetland channels, cascades, a meadow and trees.

Cllr Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport and sustainability at Sheffield City Council, commented: “It’s vital that the new houses we build in Sheffield are designed to be both quality homes now and well into the future.

“By taking our changing environment into account when building homes and utilizing imaginative designs such as this scheme, we are ensuring that we’re creating housing for the city that is sustainable and lasting.”

SHC has completed almost 1,000 homes across Sheffield since it was set up in 2011, and it recently resumed work on its 1,000th home.

The joint venture development company plans to build a further 1,400 homes in Sheffield over the next five years to create up to 2,300 homes on 26 sites by 2025.

Image credit: Sheffield Housing Company

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