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Permit plan to protect secondary flood defences around The Wash are welcomed by Sutton Bridge district councillor Michael Booth




Action by the Environment Agency to protect secondary flood defences on the South Holland coast have been welcomed.

Anyone carrying out works around The Wash, possibly weakening or damaging flood defences in Holbeach St Marks, Holbeach St Matthew, Gedney Drove End and Dawsmere, needs to apply for a permit from the Environment Agency.

Coun Michael Booth, district councillor for Sutton Bridge, said: "For many years, I've been concerned about secondary flood defences, including the sea banks.

Coun Michael Booth, parish and district council member for Sutton Bridge. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG280315-212TW.
Coun Michael Booth, parish and district council member for Sutton Bridge. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG280315-212TW.

"Over the years, farmers have been cropping the seas banks or removing them altogether.

"The Environment Agency has now recognised there is a use for secondary flood defences and it has sent letters out to people living near The Wash, telling them that they can't do anything to them without a permit.

"The aim is to retain the frontline and secondary flood defences as they are now and I'm pleased to see that, at last, someone has taken some action on it."

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "The Wash bank is a secondary line of defence which supports the flood protection offered by the frontline defence, a newer embankment along the coastline.

A permit is required from the Environment Agency for any activity within 16 metres of a sea defence that affects its stability, causes damage to it, reduces its effectiveness to manage flood risk or interferes with the regulator’s access. Photo supplied. (7545058)
A permit is required from the Environment Agency for any activity within 16 metres of a sea defence that affects its stability, causes damage to it, reduces its effectiveness to manage flood risk or interferes with the regulator’s access. Photo supplied. (7545058)

"As such, we are working to preserve the secondary bank so it continues to help reduce the risk of flooding to the area.

"Therefore, we are working with our partners, including the Internal Drainage Boards, to let landowners know that works on the banks must be approved and permitted to ensure the stability and effectiveness of the flood defences."

Coun Nick Worth, deputy leader of South Holland District Council, said: "It's an issue for South Holland and so I'm sure that we'll remain on the case."



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