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Controversial flood protection plan wins vote in Kendal

A £16million flood protection plan in Kendal has survived the second round of voting despite controversial tree felling proposals.

South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC) flood protection plan for Kendal has survived a second vote. The controversial plan would see around 500 trees chopped down along the riverbanks, new defence walls being built, and glass walls along the riverside.

During Storm Desmond four years ago 2,150 homes flooded and it is estimated that every year 1,500 homes and 1,100 businesses faced a 20% chance of being flooded in the Cumbrian market town. The new vote was held after the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (DPD) was formally adopted by the council.

A spokesperson for SLDC said: “The planning committee’s original resolution took full account of the relevant DPD policies and their wording has not changed subsequently. But formal adoption of the document has changed the status of those policies.”

“It has been decided to refer the application back to committee so that members can consider their original resolution in the light of this change. This is purely procedural, but will mean that the community can be reassured that everything has been properly taken into account when making this important decision. Referring this back to committee has had no impact on the timescales for the flood defence works.”

The council plans include the planting of 3,600 trees to compensate for the loss of trees along the River Kent, improvements to footpaths and cycling paths, new recreational spaces and road improvements. Reports from the council on phase 1 of the scheme predicts a net gain for biodiversity.

Campaigners have also raised concern over how the plans will affect the town’s appearance and heritage hotspots. The proposed phase one development would protect 227 homes, 71 businesses, and 80 public facilities along the river, according to the Environment Agency.

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