Lancaster City Council

08/11/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/11/2020 10:48

Council leader demands urgent action to solve Burrow Beck flooding

In the early hours of Tuesday morning the area around Lentworth Drive flooded for the second time in six days following heavy rain.

On both occasions residents had to be evacuated and a number have now had to be rehoused due to the damage caused.

Following a similar flood event in 2017, the Environment Agency developed a proposal to reduce flood risk from Burrow Beck.

However, the Environment Agency's funding calculator suggested that the Government would fund only £776,000 of the estimated £3.3 million needed, and so the scheme has not progressed. Residents have also not been offered the funding that the Government often provides to put property level defences in place.

Councillor Dr Erica Lewis, leader of Lancaster City Council, now says that these works should be given priority and in a letter to Boris Johnson has asked for £5million to:

• Fully fund the scheme the Environment Agency has identified
• Support property level measures for residents and small businesses
• Fund urgent temporary measures while more significant works are built

'Having worked closely with affected residents since the November 2017 incident I know that repeated flooding is having a significant impact on residents both in terms of wellbeing and mental health, as well as costs incurred and property values lost,' she says in the letter.

'Between the impact on residents, the costs of repeated emergency responses, subsequent rehousing and the increasing frequency of events due to climate change, I know that this would be £5 million well spent.

'Given the weather warnings for the rest of the week, residents will continue to worry through the day, and not be able to sleep at night, because we know that one heavy rainfall could see homes flooded once again. Please tell my residents you will do everything in your power to reduce their flood risk.'

Lancaster City Council's on-call teams attended both flooding incidents to support the emergency services and Environment Agency. This included removing debris from the beck to help to keep it flowing and opening a rest centre for those who needed to be evacuated from their homes.

Ahead of further predicted heavy rain, a multi-agency meeting took place on Tuesday morning to discuss further mitigation measures and additional meetings will take place later this week.

Last updated: 11 August 2020