Concerns over plans to combat future flood risk


Concerns are being raised about the possibility of flooding in the Fens if the Environment Agency do not renew pumping equipment.

The Environment Agency has proposed changes along the route of the South 40 Foot Drain and is holding consultation events on options for managing future flood risk in areas including Swaton, Billingborough and Rippingale, which have experienced flooding in the past.

The Black Sluice pumping station at Boston, which serves this catchment area, is mainly there to pump water away from farmland, so Government will not pay to replace its five aging pumps.

Michael King, Billingborough Parish Council chairman, said: “You might think that with all the talk of climate change from Government agencies, we would be looking at extra flood protection for more frequent major events.

“Why not have one or two more modern pumps as a compromise? What about saving strategically important food production from very fertile arable land? What about the value of the proposed navigable Fen Waterway south along the 40 Foot Drain for which millions have already been spent?”

Environment Agency flood risk manager Deborah Campbell insisted other mechanisms were in place to protect farmland, adding: “We want to reassure people that from our initial surveys, no homes would be at an increased risk if the pumps were decommissioned.”

Drop in events are at Billingborough Village Hall on August 25 1-8pm and Rippingale village hall 1-8pm on September 10.