South Lakeland District Council’s Planning Committee has granted approval for a planning application from the Environment Agency for its Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme (Phase 1 Kendal Linear Defences, comprising works along the rivers Kent & Mint through Kendal including new & raised flood walls, new & raised flood embankments, ground raising, pumping station & associated changes to the public realm & landscaping).
The approval is subject to a decision from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government after five requests that he call in the application.
The committee heard representations from supporters and objectors before voting unanimously to agree with the recommendation to approve the application.
Councillors were told that the work would cause harm to the landscape, townscape and heritage assets, but that harm would be less than substantial and so had to be weighed against the significant public benefit of the scheme.
Councillors were also told that Phase 1 would protect homes and businesses against floods of 1-in-20-year severity, and against 1-in-100-year severity if phases 2 and 3 were completed.
Approval was granted subject to confirmation that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government does not wish to call in the application for his own determination.
SLDC will not issue any planning permission until the Secretary of State has had an opportunity to consider fully the issues that have been raised in the requests.
Tim Farron MP said: “This news will come as a great relief for all those in Kendal, Burneside and Staveley whose homes and businesses have been devastated by recent flooding.
“I know that some residents have had concerns about certain aspects of the plans so it’s important that we continue to hold the Environment Agency account to deliver the best possible scheme for our community.
“There have been five formal requests that the Government call in this decision which could still halt these plans, and therefore I will be writing to the Secretary of State to urge him to reject these requests.
“Having waited more than three years to even get to the planning stage, and having been through many iterations during the consultation, those who still live with the trauma of flood events over the past ten years should not be made to wait any longer to get these flood defences in place.”
More details can be found in the report here: http://democracy.southlakeland.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=124&MId=4650