The Environment Agency will be writing to landowners in the Alt Crossens catchment to confirm they will continue to operate pumping stations that manage water levels in the area while an alternative arrangement is developed. CLA North Rural Surveyor Robert Frewen, who has lobbied the Environment Agency and local MPs for extending operation of drainage pumps welcomed this decision.
The current notices on Banks Marsh, Boundary Brook, Clay Brow, Kew and Rufford pumping stations have been extended until the end of March 2023.
The Environment Agency want to strengthen local decision making around flood risk management by ensuring the right bodies are managing the right watercourses. During this period, work will continue on finding an alternative way of managing water levels that is environmentally and economically sustainable.
Ruth Forrester, Senior Advisor at the Environment Agency said: “We continue to discuss the impact of our decision with the communities and organisations affected in the area and look forward to developing those conversations as all options become available for consideration.“A suitable alternative arrangement for Alt Crossens will take some time to establish and will need input from a wide range of organisations and individuals to ensure the needs of the community, economy and environment are met. We would like to thank these organisations and individuals for their input so far, and look forward to working together in the future.”CLA North Rural Surveyor Robert Frewen, who has lobbied the Environment Agency and local MPs for extending operation of drainage pumps in the North West (Lancashire) said:“Following our continuous and combined efforts, I welcome the decision to extending the continued operation of drainage pumps in the North West. It is vital to drain agricultural land, especially with more frequent incidences of high rainfall over the last few years.”“We look forward to continue working with our partners, local MPs, landowners and the Environment Agency towards setting up a workable solution. Elsewhere in the country established Internal Drainage Boards are working very well, and a model to consider in the region. In addition, it’s crucial that there’s still long-term funding for maintenance of existing flood defence assets, including ring-fenced funding for protection of agricultural land.”