Good news – planning consent was granted for the flood defences yesterday. Another step closer. The flood defence scheme was granted planning permission by Allerdale Borough Council at a meeting on Tuesday 10th April, meaning the Environment Agency has been given consent to construct a series of walls, embankments and flood gates along the River Cocker and River Derwent that will increase flood protection to around 360 local homes and 55 businesses.
Funding for the scheme has almost been secured, with a pledge from central government to provide £3.3million. Cumbria County Council and Allerdale Borough Council have also offered to make significant contributions, with the Cockermouth Flood Action Group, Cumbria Community Foundation, Cockermouth Chamber of Trade, local businesses and the local community working hard to secure the remaining funds that will be required.
Once built, the scheme will reduce the risk of flooding in Cockermouth to a 1% chance in any one year.
Sue Cashmore, chair of the Cockermouth Flood Action Group, said: “The Cockermouth Flood Action Group has been working closely with the Environment Agency to push for improved flood defences in the town, so we are delighted that planning permission has been granted. We now just need to put the final pieces of the jigsaw together by securing funding so that work on the scheme can begin.”
Keith Ashcroft, Environment Agency manager for Cumbria, said: “The Environment Agency has been working closely with the Cockermouth Flood Action Group and local authorities to finalise plans for a new flood defence scheme in the town and, by securing planning consent, we are now one step closer to being able to provide increased flood protection to over 400 local homes and businesses.
“Three years ago, the local community experienced first hand the devastation of unprecedented flooding, and since that time have worked tirelessly to rebuild their town and restore homes and businesses. At the same time, the Environment Agency has been working hard to develop a plan to increase protection to the properties most at risk of flooding in the town.
“Planning consent has now been granted, which balances the need for flood protection with ensuring the heritage of this beautiful town is maintained, and the last hurdle for us now is to work with the local community, businesses and other partners over the next few weeks to ensure we secure the remaining funding required to ensure Cockermouth gets the flood defences it deserves.”
The Environment Agency and Cockermouth Flood Action Group will continue working with the local community to ensure they understand the continued risks of flooding, and are prepared should flooding occur.
Be prepared by calling the Environment Agency’s *Floodline on 0845 9881188 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/floodnorthwest for further information.
What can we do to prepare for flooding?
- Check if you live or work in an area at risk from flooding: Log on our website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk and enter your postcode to see if your property is in an area at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea.
- Find out if you can sign up to receive FREE flood warnings with Floodline Warnings Direct: Our free service provides flood warnings direct to homes at risk of sea or river flooding by phone, email, SMS text message, or fax. Find out if you can sign up by calling Floodline on 0845 988 11188 or by visiting www.environment-agency.gov.uk
- Use flood protection products: Fitting flood protection products will help keep water out of your property during a flood. Look for the Kitemark to check that a product meets minimum industry standards. Visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk for advice or www.bluepages.org.uk for an independent directory of flood products.
- Complete a Personal Flood Plan: Download an easy template from
www.environment-agency.gov.uk. A flood plan will help you decide what practical actions to take before and during a flood, which will help reduce the damage flooding can cause.
- Other information on what to do before, during and after a flood can be found at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods