Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Barnsley school plans spark flood fear

Plans for a new school on a former pit site in Barnsley have raised fears among residents of an increased flood risk in the area.

Darfield Foulstone and Wombwell High Schools are due to be replaced by an advanced learning centre at the former Darfield Main Pit in Low Valley.

Concerns have been raised that run-off water from the building may increase the likelihood of flooding.

Barnsley Council said a flood risk assessment had been done.

Homes in the area were badly affected when the River Dove burst its banks twice in June 2007.

Resident Pete Bradshaw said: "The Pitt report [Sir Michael Pitt's report into the 2007 summer floods] stated that the more concrete that went down, the more chance of flooding.

"They're going to build this concrete raft for the school to go on just the high side of where we flooded.

"There's a huge concern that run-off water is going to go straight into the Dove."

Mr Bradshaw said he and a number of other residents had sent letters of objection to the council.

He said they were annoyed they had not been consulted by Barnsley Council about the plans for the school, especially given the area's history of flooding.

"Everybody's got to be scared of flooding. We've just seen Cornwall again getting flooded, so it's a huge concern," he said.

Collection tanks

In a statement, Barnsley Council said: "In submitting a planning application the local education partnership was required to undertake a full environmental impact assessment, including a flood risk assessment.

"This was considered as part of the planning process which would involve scrutiny of the proposal by the Environment Agency.

"The new school is to have rainwater harvesting, which means that rain falling on the roof will be collected and used for flushing toilets.

"Rainwater from the hard surface areas is also collected in tanks which hold the water and release it at a slow rate into the watercourse."

The council said there would also be a new bridge over the River Dove, which was designed to improve the flow of the river.

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