New Isle flood fears as big build scheme gets go-ahead

Cllr Trevor Barker at the Keadby pumping station as work is to be done to stop the banks bursting after the floods last year. Picture: Andrew Roe
Cllr Trevor Barker at the Keadby pumping station as work is to be done to stop the banks bursting after the floods last year. Picture: Andrew Roe

A massive North Lincolnshire project that includes a 3,000 homes development close to the River Trent has sparked new fears of flooding in Isle communities.

Developer Lucent has been granted outline planning permission on four applications, subject to conditions, by North Lincolnshire Council. But a storm has arisen after Lucent agreed work to the east side of the River Trent as a bolster to flood defence. This is linked with a housing scheme they have earmarked for land between Burringham and Scotter Road as part of the Lincolnshire Lakes project.

The move has angered a North Axholme councillor along with residents of Keadby, Althorpe and Derrythorpe, who claim the west side too should receive attention, amid fears it could suffer impact and increased danger of flooding in the future.

Some Keadby residents are still not back in their homes following floods of last December. Chapel Lane was one area where people fled waterlogged properties.

North Lincolnshire Council claims detailed research has been done and the west bank of the Trent will not be affected adversely by plans.

North Axholme Councillor Trevor Barker (pictured) requested an added condition to the application, to include west bank defence work, but was turned down. He said of the recent decision: “It’s a sad day when we can’t look after places on both sides of the river at the same time. We will work to still try and enforce that what happens on the east bank of the Trent will be done on the opposite bank too.”

He added: “This application got carried by one vote. I would like the Environment Agency to be involved and to construct a working model to see what the impact of work on one bank only would be. We need provision to protect all people’s homes.”

Charles Forsyth, communications director for the Lucent Group said: “The reinforcement proposed by Lucent for the east bank is to reduce the residual risk of breach of that bank and reduce the propensity for any such breach to develop further through erosion so that the residual risk of flooding to existing communities at Burringham and Gunness will be reduced. As neither the height nor the form of the east defences will be altered then there will no change in flood risk to third parties on the other side of the river.

“The flood management scheme has been developed in close liaison with the Environment Agency over the past four years. The proposals have been simulated on a hydrodynamic computer model. This model has identified the reduction in residual flood risk to the land east of the River Trent but as no changes are being made to the height or form of the defences then there is no impact to simulate on the west side of the River Trent.”

Coun Barker said October had been a “disappointing month” in planning, after another application that attracted objections was carried on appeal. The building of homes at 7 Lakes Industrial Estate, Ealand, was refused by council planners then later approved. Mr Barker said this decision was made before the council’s Five Year Housing Land Supply Assessment was published and so could not be taken in to account at the hearing.

North Lincolnshire’s head of planning and regeneration Marcus Walker said: “The committee decided it was minded to approve the four applications subject to numerous conditions and subject to the completion of legal agreements to secure necessary community facilities and infrastructure. The council is currently working with the applicants on the contents of those legal agreements.”

“Since the appeal hearing closed the Council has published its Five Year Housing Land Supply Assessment which will assist in directing new housing to the most sustainable locations.”

The Lincolnshire Lakes Area Action Plan in its entirety is currently up for consultation, and one event at which people can view the plans in full and ask questions will take place on Tuesday, November 11 from noon to 7pm at Burringham Village Hall. Another is on November 13 from 10am to 4pm at the centre of Parklands, Scunthorpe.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We have been involved in the outline planning application by Lucent to build over 3,000 homes as part of the Lincolnshire Lakes Development because we are a statutory consultee in the planning process.

“As part of this process, the developer is required to submit a Flood Risk Assessment, including flood modelling to describe how potential flooding to the site will be managed and how flood risk in other locations will not be made worse. After reviewing the Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) for this development we did not object to the proposals as we concluded that there would not be an increased risk to other communities and that the flood risks for the development were properly managed.

“The developer’s plans to manage the risks of flooding include the strengthening of the existing flood defences at Burringham to reduce the risks of them failing. We do not believe that strengthening flood defences at Burringham will have an adverse effect on other communities. The plans do not include the raising of flood defences to avoid impacts to communities on the opposite bank or further up or down the River Trent.”