Stop , Review and Revise Kendal Flood Management Scheme

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The EA plans to manage flood events in the River Kent in Kendal are potentially disastrous for local residents, businesses, wildlife and the appearance of our beautiful town, as well as creating a huge carbon footprint but they will not deliver the guarantees of improved resilience that were claimed.

We, the undersigned, call upon the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to stop the intended works immediately and undertake a review in the light of the new estimates of effectiveness vs the cost and damage to the local area.

Only one Phase, of this 3 Phase plan, has so far been scrutinised by local planners and there is no guarantee that the other two phases will ever be completed. There is strong evidence to suggest that they won't be undertaken at all.

The completion of Phase 1 alone will remove only an additional 227 homes and 71 business premises from the risk of flooding in a 1 in 20 year event . Phase 1 will actually make over 20 previously unaffected homes vulnerable to flooding. Phase 1 alone will significantly increase the likelihood of damage or loss of Kendal's bridges, at least one of which is a scheduled ancient monument.

Phase 1 will also devastate the local environment and the felling of over 500 mature deciduous trees will wreck the habitat of 4 protected species of bats, severely affecting the habitat of otters and crayfish during their breeding cycles. The construction work and the loss of habitat could potentially drive them and local native Roe deer out of the area altogether.

The estimated freight of 3500 tonnes of concrete and over half a million tonnes of soil, clay and stone required for the works will create a staggering 2,025 tonnes of CO2. This is the equivalent of flying around the world 300 times in a 737 jet.

We would like to tell the Secretary of State that this is not a price worth paying and urge the EA to rethink the plans with more consideration for the effectiveness of the scheme and its impact on local people and the environment.

We call for a stop to Phase 1 until the whole of the three phases are fully researched, costed and consulted upon locally with stakeholders, residents and organisations before planning proposals are drawn up for the whole scheme.

The implementation of one part of the scheme is limited in its potential for protection, disastrous for the environment and aesthetically destructive for the whole town.