Isle residents to gain watercourse powers

Residents in the Isle are to have more say on watercourse management following the success of a pilot project.

Monday, 3rd June 2019, 2:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 6:02 pm
Stainforth and Keadby Canal part of the Isle Greenway

Residents will soon have more say in how their local watercourses are managed following the success of the pilot project to transfer flood risk management and regulation to other Risk Management Authorities.

Designed to give communities more control over their watercourses, the project, which is currently piloting in several areas of the country, will see several sections of low flood risk main rivers re-designated as ordinary watercourses.

This would mean that responsibility for the watercourses, which are currently regulated by the Environment Agency, would be passed to internal drainage boards (IDBs).

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The Agency said it has been looking at new ways to deliver more for the environment by changing the way it works and uses its resources.

Environment Agency project lead, Becky Stewart said: “We have been developing proposals to transfer flood risk management and regulation on select stretches of watercourses to local flood risk management partners.

“This process is known as de-maining and will help ensure that the right people are managing the right watercourses and assets in the right places.”

The Snow Sewer Warping Drain, North Lincolnshire will be transferred to the Isle of Axholme and North Nottinghamshire Water Level Management Board.

The watercourses have been identified as pilots for de-maining due to the low flood risk they pose to people and property and, following extensive consultation in June 2018.

With community backing, the Environment Agency will now make the transfer. In technical terms, the determination represents a formal decision to change the main river map with the Isle of Axholme and North Nottinghamshire Water Level Management Board having overall responsibility for the management and maintenance of the selected watercourse.

Becky Stewart added: “For residents of the Isle of Axholme, this re-designation represents good news. De-maining will bring more choice in how their local watercourses will be managed, with decisions on watercourse maintenance now being made at a local level.”