Investigation will hopefully find solution to River Waring issue

Horncastle flood reservoir. EMN-190617-093406001
Horncastle flood reservoir. EMN-190617-093406001

Lincolnshire County Council has launched a formal investigation into last month’s flooding in Horncastle.

At least one business and several residential properties in the Stanhope Road area were damaged by water from the River Waring.

Now, the county council is leading an investigation involving several other organisations, including the Environment Agency and Anglian Water.

However, the News can reveal it could be six months before the results and any recommendations are known.

The flooding led to some heated exchanges between residents and councillors at a town council meeting earlier this month.

Tracey Collins, owner of Seaview Antiques, told councillors her property and business was ‘seriously flooded under a foot of water.’

Residents complained that while multi-million pound defences had protected the town from flooding by the River Bain, nothing had been spent on the Waring.

One Stanhope Road area resident claimed they had been ‘discriminated against’ and slammed town councillors for ‘patting themselves on the back’– because the Bain had not flooded.

County Councillor Bill Aron has now confirmed the investigation has started.

Coun Aron told the News this week: “Highways have started a formal investigation into the flooding, as the lead agency.

“This was within 24 hours of my reporting the problem Mrs Collins had faced.

“Officers have had the opportunity to meet her and inspect the affected area.

“The full investigation and production of the report will take about six months.

“Meanwhile, should Mrs Collins or anyone else require help please contact me.”

Town councillor Richard Barker has been working with residents affected by the flooding.

He said that following face-to-face meetings with the agencies involved, the residents now had ‘greater clarity’ about the issues – and the investigation.

Meanwhile, Horncastle mayor Coun Fiona Martin welcomed the investigation.

She stressed the town council had ‘every sympathy’ with residents and would ‘doing everything it could’ to press for a solution.

Coun Martin has campaigned for flood defences to protect Horncastle for over 30 years and was an influential figure in the River Bain project which was finally completed last year.

She played down hopes of a ‘quick fix’ solution to the Waring.

Coun Martin said: “For years, myself– and others –were trying to get schemes for the Waring and the Bain.

“Funding-wise, the number of properties affected by the Waring did not stack up.

“Individual properties were offered protection thanks to a grant from the government but there wasn’t much of a take-up.

“I really do sympathise with residents and hopefully the investigation will identify what can be done.”

Coun Martin said it was ‘far too early’ to say what level of funding might be available,

She added: “It is very positive that this is a multi-agency investigation. One agency acting on its own means progress is very difficult – as we discovered with the Bain,

“Now, everyone is pulling together and the town council will work very hard to press for a successful resolution.”