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Construction for flood defence project to start after horse fair

Appleby when it flooded after Storm Ciara in February 2020 <i>(Image: Sam Smedley)</i>
Appleby when it flooded after Storm Ciara in February 2020 (Image: Sam Smedley)

THE start of construction for a major flood management scheme in Appleby will be this summer, after the horse fair.

Residents and business owners in the town will have an opportunity to find out more about the Environment Agency’s flood scheme for the town at an information drop-in event on Monday, 3rd April from 2-7pm.

The Environment Agency is currently developing plans to construct a pumping station within Broad Close car park which will better manage flooding from the Doomgate Culvert – a watercourse running under the road.

The flood risk management scheme aims to protect 64 properties including businesses and homes in Holme Street, Chapel Street, Doomgate, High Weind, Low Weind and Bridge Street, one of the main retail areas in the town.

Currently, a temporary pump is available to manage flood risk from Doomgate Culvert during high flow conditions. Water is pumped from the culvert, over the flood defence wall and into the River Eden to reduce flood risk to the community.

READ MORE: Appleby left devastated as homes flooded

The scheme will come with a significant community impact around parking, traffic management and access to facilities like the recycling centre, public toilets, and footpaths. The agency is working with the town council to help manage these problems.

Environment Agency Area Flood Risk Manager, Sharon Kennedy said: “Appleby town centre is at risk from flooding both as a result of overtopping of the riverside defences and from surcharging of Doomgate Culvert.

“This scheme will address the Doomgate Culvert flooding mechanism, which is the most frequent source of flooding for this area of the town. The scheme promotes a proactive response to managing flood risk as opposed to a reactive operational response, which is what the town currently relies on.

“Over the period of the pumping station’s lifespan, we estimate this scheme will save in the region of £21,000,000 in damages caused by flooding as well as the distress and disruption experienced by business owners and residents who would have experienced flooding without this work taking place.”