Coming soon...the Great Wall of Tod

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A CALDERDALE town will get its own Great Wall when work begins this summer on the next phase of a £13 million flood-prevention scheme.

The wall will be 500 metres long, up to nine feet high in places and should protect 658 homes and businesses. It will be built of concrete and clad in stone, and will run from Morrisons supermarket in Todmorden, alongside Rochdale Road to Shade Primary School. The Environment Agency is seeking planning permission from Calderdale Council for what will be the third phase of the town’s flood-defence scheme.

In addition to the wall, sections of culvert which take Walsden Water under Todmorden town centre will be strengthened.

Most of this work will be carried out from within the culvert to minimise disruption to the town’s market.

This has been an important consideration for the design team, which has been working closely with the town-centre renaissance board and the council to ensure the market can continue to trade normally.

Project manager Will Benedikz said there would be some temporary disruption to traffic as one lane of Rochdale Road will have to be closed while the new wall is built.

The 18-month construction programme will take account of seasonal business, so work will be tailored to ensure there is minimal disruption over Christmas and Easter.

“While there will inevitably be some disruption during construction, it will be kept to a minimum and will result in long-term benefits for the whole town as the risks and effects of flooding are significantly reduced,” said Mr Benedikz.

“We will work with businesses, the local authority and local people to make sure that all practical steps that can be taken to minimise disruption are taken.”

He said the agency planned to establish a stakeholder working group, reflecting a wide range of the town’s interests, with which it would work in partnership during construction.

A compound in Salford Way will include an information room for people to visit if they want to raise issues of concern or check on progress.

The first two phases of the Todmorden Flood Alleviation Scheme were designed to reduce the risk of flooding to properties from the River Calder and were completed in 2007.

It included flood storage areas at Centre Vale Park and Millwood and the construction of new flood walls along Sackville Street, River Street, Key Syke Lane, Commercial Street and Hall Royd Crescent.