Horncastle public backs flood defence plan

Andrew Barron of the Environment Agency was in Horncastle to show the public plans for the River Bain flood defences EMN-150126-154414001
Andrew Barron of the Environment Agency was in Horncastle to show the public plans for the River Bain flood defences EMN-150126-154414001
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Residents in Horncastle have given their overwhelming backing to long-awaited plans for the town’s £8.1m flood defence scheme.

The Environment Agency held a series of public meetings at the end of last month, when plans for the project were outlined.

It will involve building a holding reservoir and a series of earth banks to the north of the town - in the Bain Valley.

Apart from defending Horncastle, the defences will also ease flooding fears in villages further down the rivers, including Kirkby on Bain.

Charles Miller (73) said he was impressed with the scheme and said it was long overdue.

He added: “I’ve lived in the Horncastle area for more than 30 years and seen properties flood on four or five occasions during that time.

“I’ve helped friends try and salvage something from flooded homes.

“It’s not a very nice experience and I’m just glad that at long last, something appears to be happening.

“It’s a shame we didn’t have the defences two or three years ago but something is better than nothing.”

David Taylor, 43, said his property in the town centre flooded a couple of years ago.

He explained: “There’s been a lot of talk about flood defences and it’s great that things appear to be moving forward.

“I don’t suppose anything is 100 per cent but I feel a lot happier after seeing the plans and talking to the people from the Agency.”

Andrew Porter, 56, said the quicker the fences were in place the better.

He added: “My parents live in a part of the town that floods every time it rains - or the snow melts - you are worried.

“I know these defences won’t stop flooding completely, but it’s got to help.

“It’s positive that Horncastle is finally getting some money. We seem to be the poor relation to other towns in the county.”

District and Town councillor Fiona Martin, one of the driving forces behind the project, said she was delighted with the success of the public meetings.

She added: “A lot of people went along and the response seemed to be very positive.

The defence scheme is a multi-agency effort which also involved the country, district and town councils - and a local drainage board.

Negotiations are being finalised with landowners where the fences will be constructed.

Depending on planning permission, it is hoped work could start this summer ahead of a completion date in 2016.

Several residents raised questions about the town’s antiquated drainage system and it is hoped the defence scheme could kick start improvements.