New Carlisle flood protection scheme agreed

Over 2000 homes were flooded in Cumbria in 2015 Credit: PA

Plans for a new £25m flood protection scheme in Carlisle have been agreed by city councillors.

Parts of the city have flooded badly twice in the last 15 years. The first phase of the defences would help to protect Melbourne Park and land around the Tesco store on Warwick Road.

Fears were raised by some councillors today that this work could raise the flood risk at other outlying areas, by the Environment Agency say this first phase will have minimal impact on other places.

It is wonderful news that councillors on Carlisle City Council development control committee have given their support to phase one of the Carlisle flood risk management scheme. Going forward, we will keep listening to residents, business owners and CFLAG, to ensure their views are taken into consideration and this is the best possible scheme for the people of Carlisle.”

– Stewart Mounsey, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for Cumbria

But some think that the plans may not go far enough. Campaigners say while they are supporting phase one of the new plan, they remain convinced that Botcherby Bridge is a weak link in the proposals because they say it isn't tall or strong enough to withstand another Storm Desmond.

It's a weak point in several respects. It's a pinch point and it's trying to get water through there which is very difficult. We need to get it through there early before it's blocked off by the Eden. It's a weak point because it has a 1930s concrete structure which has a parapet that we don't think would take the same level of water as the Desmond storm brought and if there was a tree in that flow we think it could take that parapet out."

– John Kelsall, The Carlisle Flood Action Group

Work is expected to begin this summer.