LEP tackles flood risk and water supply in the county

The Coronation Channel reduces the river flood risk in Spalding. SG070317-109TW
The Coronation Channel reduces the river flood risk in Spalding. SG070317-109TW
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A South Holland farmer is helping to shape plans to cut flood risk and safeguard 
water supplies in the county.

Mark Tinsley spoke at the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnerhip (LEP) launch of the Water Management Plan, which was devised with a wide range of partners, including drainage boards.

Mark Tinsley.

Mark Tinsley.

He said then: “Greater Lincolnshire is a growth area which is planning to create 100,000 new homes and 29,000 new jobs and grow its economy by £8billion by 2030.

“My ambition is that we don’t see flooding and water supply as two separate issues but as two sides of the same challenge.”

He says two flood alleviation schemes are almost complete, one in Louth costing £6.5million and another in Horncastle costing £8.1million.

Projects in the pipeline include the £100million Boston Barrier, prompted by the tidal surge of December 2013, when nearly 600 businesses and homes were flooded.

Another involves £1.175million to be spent on raising sea banks at Wrangle, between Boston and Skegness.

There are no flood alleviation works planned for South Holland because each scheme is devised around perceived risk and this area has been well protected by drainage boards as well as a major engineering project in Spalding.

Mr Tinsley, who chairs the Greater Lincolnshire Water Management Board, says the installation and the opening of The Coronation Channel in 1953 “was a brilliant idea”.

“It was put in to substantially reduce the chances of flooding in Spalding,” he said. “Literally by putting in that channel they are reducing by approximately half the amount of water going through the middle of town and, therefore, reducing the risk.”

Because of a predicted long-term flood risk, that hinges on failure of sea defences, the EA now insists some Spalding new build homes must have habitable floors at a minimum height of 1.8m above the outside ground level.

Lincolnshire makes up 17 per cent of England’s floodplain but is also one of the driest places in the country and prone to drought.

Boston’s Black Sluice Drainage Board pumps a vast quantity of water out to sea but Mr Tinsley believes it could be stored in reservoirs to meet Lincolnshire’s future needs.

He said: “Anglian Water are driving that because they know they are going to need a lot more water on the east coast by 2050.”

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