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A vast number of homes are at ‘high risk’ of flooding in Cumbria

Posted: 03/12/19

Homes located on the coast of Furness have been told by the Environment Agency that they are at long-term risk of flooding. The total number of properties at risk of flooding across the county now stands at 21,518.

New data plotted on a map has shown hundreds of homes on Walney are at high risk of flooding along with others off the coast of Millom and Ulverston. This means that there is a strong risk of flooding each year, despite existing flood defences being in place. The Environment Agency have said that 8133 properties benefit from flood defences and 953 from tidal defences.

Barrow Borough Council have said that the coastline is approximately 63km long, with 22km defended against either coastal erosion or flooding. 7km of the 22km is the responsibility of the council and the rest is managed by other bodies or private companies. The remaining 41km of undefended coastline consists of shingle beaches, clay cliffs, sand dunes and salt marsh. The whole of the borough’s coastline, except for a short section on Walney between Hillock Whins and Sandy Gap, is designated internationally, nationally or locally as environmentally important.

Concerns about flooding have been raised about Walney Island before, with fears that the island will eventually split into two. Authorities have been working on ways to manage coastal erosion over the next century and have consulted the public.

The Environment Agency said since 2006, more than 2000 flood alerts had been issued as well as 72 severe flood warnings.

Walney’s South End Caravan Park recently applied for permission to install a new flood defence bund to further protect itself from the sea.

An ecological impact assessment said the proposed area is ‘rough grazing occasionally inundated by tidal water’ and ‘the frequency of the inundation is believed to be increasing as the shoreline to the west erodes’.


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