Cash available to help South Lakes flood victims

Flooding at Sandside during the storms of spring 2014

Flooding at Sandside during the storms of spring 2014

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

DOZENS of South Lakeland people affected by last winter’s flooding could be eligible for grants to help protect them in future.

Homeowners and businesses can apply to South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) for a repair and renew grant of up to £5,000 to bolster flood defences.

Anyone who suffered between December 1, 2013, and the end of March this year can apply for the money, which is coming directly from government.

The grants can be put towards the costs, including VAT, of buying and installing flood defence measures such as waterproofing external walls, window and door guards and garage and driveway barriers.

They can also be used to cover the cost of surveys to assess flood risk and make recommendations about what measures to take.

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Local communities can apply collectively to fund measures that could be implemented on behalf of a number of homes and business premises in areas where a flood protection scheme is not already planned.

SLDC said it was aware of 35 properties around Morecambe Bay that were affected by flooding during the period covered by the grants – Sandside and Arnside were particularly badly hit.

Officers have written to the owners of properties to make them aware of the scheme, but the council is also inviting other homeowners or businesses that may be eligible to apply for a grant. The deadline is November 30, 2014.

Coun Sue Sanderson, portfolio holder for environment and people, said: “South Lakeland District Council is not the lead authority for flooding but we felt it was important that our residents did not miss out on the opportunity to claim this money, so we have stepped in to offer to run this scheme and we have approved money to cover the administration costs.

“The grants can go towards the cost of anything from automatic door guards to replacing timber floors with concrete to make them more flood resistant, it depends what is most appropriate for the individual property.’’

In addition to the repair and renew grants there are three flood financial relief schemes to help those affected by flooding.”

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