The Department of Infrastructure is embarking on a scheme to protect areas of Castletown from flooding during extreme weather events.
Reinforced concrete walls will be constructed at the edge of the harbour to prevent a repeat of the social and economic problems caused during the storm surge in 2014.
The £2.3 million project is part of the Government’s overall strategy to mitigate the impact of rising sea levels and severe weather as a result of climate change.
The Department has been working in partnership with flood management specialists JBA Consulting to develop long-term measures to combat harbour flooding and wave overtopping at vulnerable coastal locations around the Island.
Potential solutions have been evaluated against key criteria, while a series of community meetings invited feedback from the public and local authorities.
The Castletown scheme, which received planning approval in October 2016, involves the installation of raised or set-back harbour walls. This approach is designed to prevent flooding around Back Hope Street, Victoria Road, Bridge Street, Qualtrough’s Yard and the Boat Park.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘Homes and businesses in Castletown were badly hit at the start of 2014 when extreme conditions led to widespread flooding and storm damage. Climate change is making weather events of this nature a more frequent part of our lives. It is clear that we need to adapt to meet this challenge. The Department is leading Government’s response by developing long-term plans to reduce the financial and social costs of coastal flooding.’
‘Castletown is one of the locations most at risk and we have prioritised a scheme around the harbour to protect people’s properties and livelihoods. This reflects a commitment highlighted in the Programme for Government to invest in the Island’s sea defences.’
The main scheme in Castletown will start on Monday 8 May, with preparations taking place from today, Monday 24 April. This includes removing trees and bushes on the boundary of Qualtrough’s Yard, relocating a saltmarsh habitat from the Mill Race to a designated area adjacent to Apostle’s Bridge and erecting a contractor’s compound in the Boat Park.
Auldyn Construction Ltd has been awarded the contract and the work to improve the flood defences is programmed to take 45 weeks to complete.
Jason Moorhouse MHK, Department Member and representative for Arbory, Castletown and Malew, said:
‘This is excellent news for the people of Castletown, especially those who suffered so badly during the flooding in 2014. The Department has taken into account the views of the local community throughout the decision-making process. The raised harbour wall represents the most effective solution for Castletown and will provide increased protection for many years to come.’