Next steps proposed for Our City, Our River project

Published: 4 February 2020

River Derwent Derby City

River Derwent

Councillors will be meeting to discuss the next steps for the Our City, Our River (OCOR) scheme at next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.

Future works up until 2023 will be discussed as well as acknowledging the achievements of the OCOR project so far.

The completed works that have successfully been delivered include flood walls being built in Chester Green, City Road and Sowter Road as part of Package One work. Flood gates have also been successfully installed at Sowter Road and Haslams Lane, which were used in the recent flooding experienced in the city. Flood alleviation and landscaping work will also be completed in the River Gardens in the next week, with the space fully reopening to the public in the summer.

The next proposed OCOR works outlined in the City Centre Masterplan, Riverside Heritage Park, will enable the transformation of the east side of river around Stuart Street, Phoenix Street, and Exeter Place.

To achieve this, further design work and a refresh of the planning consent will continue over the next two years.  Following this, and subject to securing funding, the land would be acquired, through a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) if required, in order to progress with the redevelopment and to help to mitigate flooding in this area. Work to regenerate this area has already begun with the installation of four new flood gates to Exeter Bridge and Derwent Street as well the repaving and realigning the road of the bridge.

Councillors will be asked to approve up to £2million of additional capital expenditure to progress the design works.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation, said:

This project is now focusing on major regeneration of this area of the city to deliver the flood alleviation we need, rather than just barriers to protect against flood risk. At some point, Derby is going to face a significant flooding event and whilst the work that has been completed so far more than dealt with the river levels we saw in November we need to press on with purpose. The events in November highlighted the importance of the work and the need to complete the Our City Our River project. Over 1,200 properties were protected from the flood water and protecting homes and businesses is extremely important. By placing major regeneration at the heart of that, we will be able to deliver it. To do this, major changes will need to be made to the east river, opposite the Silk Mill, Riverside Heritage Park, which will also create regeneration opportunities in the city centre. We do recognise that what we are proposing are major changes and that is why we’ll be working and communicating with businesses and residents throughout the process. Historically, as a city, we’ve not embraced the River Derwent and have certainly not made the most of it as a natural asset. This proposed regeneration work will help Derby embrace and turn towards the river. I believe the proposals will change our city centre and open up new spaces and opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses.

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