Why Kendal needs the flood defences.

People who visited Sandylands , Mintsfeet and Castle Street the day AFTER Desmond have no idea how deep, fast and dangerous the flood water was.  
The Environment Agency collected information from the public about what happened in the floods. This information went into the Flood Investigation Report (known as the Section 19 Report) and resulted in a list of recommendations for possible actions. The current Flood Management Proposals for the River Kent and Tributaries Catchment have come out of these investigations.
These are figures for the winter storms of 2015/2016, not just the Kendal area. However they show the scale of losses to business, residents and public bodies. Temporary costs arising during the construction process cannot be compared to the scale of damage caused by repeated flooding.
Sandylands and Burneside will NOT get any flood protection UNLESS Phase 1 is approved.
The flood scheme as a whole, all 3 phases, has met the Cost Benefit ratio . It IS value for money.
What does 5 million cubic metres look like?

But of course any upstream flood storage area is empty more than 99.9% of the time, and is simply farmland unless there is a really major flood.
This just gives an idea of how much water needs to be held further up our valley. If we had no walls through the town at all, we would need roughly twice as much capacity, and the engineering to hold it back and manage the flows would have a significant landscape impact.
You can see the type of engineering needed to create upstream storage. This is very different from the Natural Flood Measures (NFM) that some people think would be an alternative (e.g. woody dams, river meandering and tree planting).

The article below is a technical report on a scheme at Pickering in North Yorkshire that is quoted as an alternative solution. You will see that the scale of the Pickering scheme is really small,  it includes engineered flood storage, and is quoted as helping in small to medium scaled flood events. The scheme aims to limit flows to 14.5 cu m /sec through Pickering, whereas Kendal had 403 cu m/sec above Victoria Bridge!

Pickering and Belford New Civil Engineer Article 29 Feb 2016

The embankments and walls through Kendal HAVE to be started by May 2019 and so must be Phase 1.
Flooding is getting worse, because rainfall and river flows are increasing, In 2015 403 cu m/sec was trying to get under Victoria Bridge, but a huge amount of water had also come out of river at Minstfeet and was flowing down Appleby and Shap Road.
The flood proposals allow for an additional % rise in river flows and will still provide 1:100 protection until mid century. After that we will ALSO need Natural Flood Measures such as upland land management changes and tree planting. It needs to start soon to take effect in 20 or 30 years time.
Is this the future we want to leave to Kendal’s young people? Just to keep it looking the same?
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Semi – mature field maple – 6m  + high

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Semi – mature oak – 6m  + high

Don’t believe people who say that the flood defences would not help reduce flooding in a”Desmond” and is therefore not worth doing. If you live at Castle Street and currently have a 20% chance of flooding in any one year, you are much better off with only a 1 % chance in flooding.