Hobson Street / Ryle Street, Macclesfield – Ordinary watercourse investigation

What we are doing?

We are working with a multi-agency team to investigate the culverted ordinary watercourse that runs from Ryles Pool in South Park to the River Bollin. It runs under buildings and streets including Hobson Street, Ryles Street and Park Lane. Detailed CCTV condition surveys have been undertaken of the sections of culvert that are accessible.

Investigations are ongoing into the condition of this culvert to identify any blockages or areas of damage in need of repair. The results from the surveys are being analysed and will be shared with the local riparian owners for action.

What is a riparian owner?

A riparian owner is the land or property owner responsible for a section of an ordinary watercourse (guidance on owning a watercourse)

What is a culverted ordinary watercourse?

A culverted ordinary watercourse is a watercourse, drain or stream that is enclosed in a pipe or similar structure located underground. They vary in shape, size and design and may have been installed historically under property, businesses, or infrastructure.

Why is this such a long process?

Investigation work has continued following the sinkhole which appeared in February 2020. The culvert is old, deep, runs underneath some properties as well as the highway and its condition was unknown.  This is an extremely complex piece of work involving lot of coordination with multiple agencies including United Utilities and the Environment Agency and local riparian owners. 

  • Please be assured that work is ongoing behind the scenes to mitigate and resolve these issues.
  • We are continuing to liaise with residents. A single point of contact has been appointed and is liaising with the residents on a regular basis. 
  • Local elected Members are continuing to be updated, most recently on 15 March 2022[CW1] . 

Is my property at risk of flooding?

To find out about the risk of flooding, please check both surface water and fluvial flood risk at your location.

The government advice is that property owners in flood risk areas install property flood resilience products in advance of flooding and sign up to the free flood warning service to received alerts and warnings: sign up for flood warnings.

Where can I find out more about responsibilities for managing rivers and watercourses?

For more details please see guidance owning a watercourse.

Further advice on the Councils approach to managing these watercourses can also be found on the Flood risk management page.


Page last reviewed: 10 January 2023