Concern after flood alleviation scheme for Earby is pulled

The Environment Agency has pulled out of a £1.4m. flood alleviation scheme in Earby, causing consternation among local councillors.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 10:34 am
Updated Monday, 24th May 2021, 10:36 am

Pendle councillor David Whipp, who has headed up efforts to get flood defences for the town since it flooded badly in 2015, has slammed the Government agency for "betraying" the town.

"It's imperative that the risk of flooding in Earby is reduced. Despite five years having passed since the devastating floods of 2015, the town has yet to see any permanent flood defences completed," said Coun. Whipp.

"The Environment Agency has betrayed the people of Earby with its half-hearted, shambolic, approach to flood alleviation work. As far as our area is concerned, the Government agency is utterly unfit for purpose.

New Cut next to the mill affected by flooding. The scheme would waterproof the wall on the bank of the beck.

"I hope Pendle Council can rescue the situation at the eleventh hour, but it really shouldn't have to do so."

After several years of planning, the Government agency has halted preparations for a new £1.4m. parapet wall and waterproofing work because of suspected adverse ground conditions. The EA says it cannot commit a further £400,000 it claims is needed to deal with the issues with the ground.

The New Cut beck burst its banks on Boxing Day 2015, affecting residential and commercial property in the Victoria Road area. In total, over 100 properties were flooded in the town. The planned flood alleviation work would significantly reduce the risk of flooding from the beck.

In 2018, Pendle Council secured over £600,000 of European funding to help pay for flood defence work and subsequently got a further £800,000 through the Environment Agency for the scheme. The funding is still available even though the EA is not willing to implement the project.

European funding will be lost if work isn't begun by August this year.

Now Pendle Council is to consider if it can carry out the scheme itself. The issue is to be discussed at the council's Policy and Resources being held next Thursday (27th May).

Further information about the issue can be found via this link:

https://www.pendle.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/25916/item_10_earby_flood_alleviation_works_-_new_cut_wall_and_waterproofing_of_victoria_mill_wall