I refer to Chris Carter’s section on the growers page of the Lincolnshire Free Press, concerning the Environment Agency’s telephone message service for flood risk areas.
On my return from holiday I had such a message on my answerphone, informing me that my telephone number had been added to the list of those people at risk of flooding in the area east of Spalding.
I do not regard this area as a flood risk and sleep well at night despite living on the banks of the River Welland.
I certainly do not want a phone-call from the Agency every time there is heavy rain. I have lived in this area since 1950 and am not aware of any flooding of significance since the flooding of 1947 (which prompted the construction of the Coronation Channel).
I believe there was slight flooding in the Fulney area during the east coast floods of 1953, when the then tidal Welland overflowed.
However, the Agency’s actions are an on-going problem, and this latest scaremongering episode is another result of the mis-information created by it.
The Agency has produced a map of flood-risk areas in the UK and the Fens are designated high risk from the Wash to the outskirts of Cambridge.
It appears that this map is based on how close an area is to water and the height above sea level. There seems to be no reference to flood defence systems or (lack of) history of flooding.
The mandarins at the Agency have obviously never heard of the beginnings of the drainage of the Fens in the 17th century, a process that has continued and is now overseen by the Internal Drainage Boards who appear to be well in control of flood prevention.
I recently saw new pumps at Pinchbeck Pumping Station, built to cope with the loss of land drainage due to the developments at the Wardentree Lane Industrial Estate.
Unfortunately, this wrong information is used to the detriment of local residents. I recently attended a presentation about land development which was prefaced by the fact that there are problems because the area is high flood risk.
I questioned this statement and was told that this advice emanated from the Environment Agency. Some years ago, when looking for house insurance, the company said that it would not cover houses in postcode PE11. More recently I have been quoted high loadings because we live in an Agency-designated high risk flood area.
It is high time that the EA’s assessment of flood risk be audited; the consequences of its actions are far too important for this situation to continue.