The Environment Agency has proposed a Kendal Flood Defence Scheme to try to reduce the flood risk to homes and businesses in the town that was one of the Cumbrian communities badly affected by Storm Desmond in December 2015. 

The plan includes flood defence barriers and embankments along much of the riverside within the town, and areas at Mintsfeet, Beezon Fields and Gooseholme being allowed to flood in order to store and slow down water flow. 

The proposals include building flood defence walls, embankments and glass barriers along much of the riverside through Kendal, as well as felling over 700 trees. 

While Friends of the Lake District welcomes measures that will reduce flooding risks, we question this particular plan. 

Lorayne Wall, Planning Officer, said:

“We feel that given the scale, complexity and importance of this scheme, insufficient time has been allowed for members of the public and relevant organisations to properly consider all the documentation and its implications. 

“There is concern over the large number of trees to be felled given that trees contribute so much to the character of Kendal as well as helping to provide cleaner air, habitat, bank stabilisation and intercepting and storing water. 

“There is little mention of natural flood management measures within the town, further upstream or across the wider river catchment. There may be further opportunities to reduce run-off rates, reduce the peak flow of water and in turn, reduce the need for such significant and highly engineered measures within Kendal. There needs to be more consideration of alternatives such as increased flood resilience measures and pop-up flood barriers, such as those in Cockermouth, which would have more limited impacts. 

“The significant tree loss proposed will alter the character of the town as well as impacting on the other benefits that trees deliver, such as biodiversity, cleaner air, river bank stabilisation and interception of rainfall, which reduces run-off rates.

"This plan offers a valuable opportunity for an innovative solution that delivers on flood mitigation and defence for Kendal whilst protecting and enhancing what is special about the town. We feel that more time and effort should be invested to make sure that this happens.” 

The application is currently being considered by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC). It will be considered by SLDC Councillors at a meeting in March and we expect that works will start shortly after that if approved. 

Overall, we are concerned that the current approach risks causing the maximum public harm, for the minimum public benefit in terms of flood prevention.

Read our full response at this link: FLD response to SL20180925.pdf

Information relating to the Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme provided by the Environment Agency

Fact Check figures: Kendal_Factcheck_V2.pdf

Kendal Future Flood Risk Management Update: Kendal_newsletter_Final_Dec_18.pdf

If you have a view on this proposal, you can respond to the planning authority, South Lakeland District Council.

How to respond

Please respond directly to South Lakeland District Council by visiting this page:
and by entering or quoting this reference number SL/2018/0925

Or you can comment by writing to:

Mr Andrew Martin – Planning Officer
South Lakeland District Council Offices
South Lakeland House
Lowther Street
Cumbria LA9 4DQ

Please quote reference:  SL/2018/0925 Kendal Flood Defence Scheme

You can also view the plans by visiting the webpage and entering the reference number.

Although the council will accept responses up until the application is decided at planning committee in March we recommend that you make comments as soon as you can, and before the end of February.