Carlisle flood defence works to start next year

A planning application is expected in early 2019 as the Environment Agency seeks to put in place improved flood defences in the Cumbrian city.

Work could then start in summer 2019, the agency said, with further phases to follow. A drop-in session inviting input from residents on its proposals will be held on Wednesday 23 January at Carlisle United’s Brunton Park.

The event will see the agency present its plans on how to prevent a repeat of the massive damage caused by flooding in December 2015, including how to best invest government funding for improved flood defences. Environment Agency officers will be on hand throughout the event.

Stewart Mounsey, Environment Agency flood risk manager for Cumbria, said: “We are pleased to be in a position to share the latest developments for managing future flood risk with the Carlisle community.

“We saw first hand the devastating impact the floods of 2015 had on residents and businesses and we want to work really closely with the community to help reduce their impact in the future.

“We are currently refining our preferred options, which gives us a great opportunity to further take on board local knowledge and insight around proposals going forward. We would encourage everyone to come along to the drop-in session to learn more about our ongoing work, to contribute by sharing their views and thoughts on the plans and to see how they can continue to be involved as flood risk management recommendations develop.”

The agency said that for those unable to attend the upcoming session, the information will also be available online following the event on the Cumbria Strategic Flood Partnership website.

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Building flood defences without addressing the reasons behind flooding, is like putting a plaster on a wound instead of stopping the wound from happening. The River Eden watershed, like other flood-prone rivers in the area, is massively deforested, over-grazed largely by sheep, or burned for grouse shooting. There is huge opportunity for upland restoration, reforestation, re-wetting bogs, which would not only reduce flood impacts but boost biodiversity and improve recreational and tourism opportunities, and associated jobs. Upland farming is heavily reliant on subsidies, grouse shooting (and old commercial forestry) have ruined the watersheds in the region. Elsewhere in Europe, and thankfully now in the UK, beavers are also being used to address flooding as their dams can hold back water and sediment before it reaches towns downstream.

By Uplands

Uplands – absolutely spot on. Correct management of the watershed is paramount to stopping these events happening in the first place. Engineered solutions such as flood defenses is fine for protecting property but it fails to address all of the other impacts you mention.

By NWPlanner

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