Our City, Our River is shutting the door on flood waters

Published: 26 September 2023

Dave Turnbull, Kewal Singh, Cllr Carmel Swan, Ian Pitt and Murray Parker

Left to right: Dave Turnbull, Kewal Singh, Cllr Carmel Swan, Ian Pitt and Murray Parker

The Our City, Our River Programme (OCOR) – Derby’s flood defence scheme – has finished installing 75 flood resilient doors to homes and businesses around Darley Abbey.

The new doors will keep floodwaters out of more than 30 properties in the area, working in tandem with the flood walls and gates that were installed in package one of the OCOR programme.

Each door features a locking mechanism that activates once water pushes against it, offering six to eight hours of protection during a flood event. Alongside the doors, properties in the area have also been improved with flood-resistant render and air bricks that lock shut when water enters.

To celebrate the installation, representatives from Derby City Council and Whitehouse Construction, which carried out the work, met with Kewal Singh from the Papermill pub, who received two of the doors. Because the new doors have raised frames, new ramps have also been installed to keep the pub accessible for wheelchair users.

Councillor Carmel Swan, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainability, said:

The Our City, Our River programme has already provided much-improved flood protection to thousands of properties in Derby, and these new doors only add to our commitment to protect our communities across Derby.

While much of the recent works have been in and around the city centre, it’s still really important that we continue to ensure the communities all the way along our stretch of the Derwent have the best protection possible.

David Turnbull, Flood Risk Manager, Environment Agency said:

With our changing climate we are unable to eliminate the risk of all flooding but we can help communities become more resilient to it. We are proud to be in partnership with Derby City to deliver OCOR, and we hope the installation of Property Flood Resilience in

Darley Abbey helps to give the community some reassurance by ensuring a flood does less damage and life can get back to normal much quicker.

Ian Pitt, Property Flood Resilience Business Manager for Whitehouse Construction, said:

Due to the sensitive nature of working within Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Zone, aesthetics of the flood doors was as important as their ability to hold back water.

Working closely with local residents and Derby City Council's heritage team we successfully designed and installed 75 bespoke flood doors maintaining properties historical authenticity whilst providing residents with reassurance against future flooding events.

Kewal Singh owns The Papermill pub, who received several new flood resilient doors. He said:

It’s great to have these new flood resistant doors in place. They are really good quality and the team that installed them were very professional.

In a recent flood the water got quite close to the doors of the pub, so it’s reassuring to have these new doors which will offer an extra layer of protection.

OCOR is being delivered in partnership with the Environment Agency and is their largest authority-led scheme.

Plans for the next stage involve a series of transformative changes at Derby Riverside, which would create further flood defences, an urban community, and further opportunities for sustainable development. The planning application for these works has been submitted and can be viewed on the Derby City Council planning portal.

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