Critical step forward in the fight to reduce Earby flood risk and bid to gain Environment Agency funding

There was a critical step forward in the fight to reduce flood risk in Earby at Monday's meeting of Pendle Council.
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After completion of the work on Victoria Clough and New Cut, the next major scheme is a £2.5m. project aimed at cutting the risk of flooding on Water Street by creating an upstream flood storage area.

Progress on the project depends on Pendle Council accepting future liability for the emergency reservoir that's planned for land above Earby Waterfalls.

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The Environment Agency require this commitment from Pendle Council before they'll release the funds for the necessary feasibility study and business case.

A picture of Earby floods in 1964A picture of Earby floods in 1964
A picture of Earby floods in 1964

Liberal Democrat ward councillors David Whipp and Susan Land proposed that Pendle Council accept future liability for the flood reservoir, which, if constructed, is estimated to cost an average of £4,000 a year to maintain.

“Unfortunately, Conservative councillors proposed a wrecking amendment that would have halted progress on the scheme,” said Coun. Whipp.

“The good news is that this amendment wasn't agreed.”

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If the preliminary work shows that the scheme stacks up, the council will be bidding for £2.5m. of Environment Agency funding.

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Water Street is at risk from flooding when there’s a cloudburst on the hills above Earby. The upstream storage area would hold flood water back and release it slowly into the beck over a period of time.

Following the Boxing Day floods in 2015, the Environment Agency commissioned a study into Earby's flooding. This identified three main causes: water from the Northolme direction; New Cut bursting its banks; and Wentcliffe Beck flooding down Water Street. The study recommended several projects, some of which have been carried out.