Hemingby councillors say yes to flood defence scheme

Land outside the village of Hemingby which will be the site for the long-awaited flood defences
Land outside the village of Hemingby which will be the site for the long-awaited flood defences

Parish councillors in Hemingby have given the ‘thumbs up’ to plans for a new flood defence scheme to protect Horncastle.

The Environment Agency has submitted plans for the project to the north of Hemingby, on a site off Green Lane.

The £8.8m scheme will see an embankment adjoin the River Bain.

During periods of heavy rain, it will hold back water which will be allowed to enter newly created holding lakes.

Plans for the long-awaited project - which will help end the flooding misery for hundreds of people in Horncastle and villages lower down the Bain - have been submitted to East Lindsey District Council.

Members of Hemingby Parish Council discussed the project at their monthly meeting last Thursday evening.

Parish Council chairman Doug Rodwell said villagers were happy with the plans because they realised the benefits there would be for Horncastle and other villages.

However, he admitted the Parish Council was seeking assurances from the Highways Agency following concerns about an increase in traffic during the lengthy construction period of the project.

He said councillors had been assured by the Environment Agency that no HGVs would be allowed to travel through the village.

The Agency has indicated that all construction traffic will enter the site from a new entrance off Caistor High Street.

Coun Rodwell recommended three proposals including new signs to warn drivers and regular meetings with contractors.

All his proposals were agreed as councillors voted to back the scheme.

Parish Council vice chairman Charles Bryant said he supported the project but was “cynical” about the traffic arrangements.

It is hoped to start work on the project as soon as possible but crucially, an agreement has not been reached with landowners of the site.

Coun Rodwell said he believed the Environment Agency had been “dragging their feet” in negotiations and, as a result, had caused problems for the landowners.

It is understood compulsory purchase of the land could be an alternative but County Councillor Bill Aron has already described that option as a “last resort.”