I read the report that suggested the proposed flood risk management scheme at Kendal would ‘destroy the heart of the town’ (Gazette, January 17).

I strongly disagree with that point of view. Yes, there will be temporary disruption, but if the Environment Agency (EA) has been able to access £24m (a total of 45m for all three phases), surely that should be seen as a longer-term investment to develop and improve the town and surrounding area?

Were another significant flood event to occur (very likely with climate change), such investment would allow residents and businesses alike to keep going and contribute to the economic viability of the town, Aynam Road in particular being a key transport artery for at least two of our local businesses/employers.

I recently walked along the Kent from Gooseholme to Nether Bridge with representatives of Kendal Civic Society, the Environment Agency and other interested parties.

Under the EA’s current proposals, the railings along Aynam Road would be replaced (they are currently leaning at a dangerous angle and taking the pavement with them), as would trees that have outgrown their footings and are causing structural damage to walls.

The railings, pavement and walls would need to be replaced in any event at a cost to the tax payer, so why not welcome a scheme that would fund these necessary works as well as provide much-needed flood defences?

There is a limit to both individual and corporate resilience. If there were to be a further significant flood event in Kendal, many residents/businesses would be unlikely to return.

This would leave a swathe of Kendal possibly unoccupied, with houses not selling and the working population possibly depleted. Even now, public health officials are concerned at the issues that are arising from people not being able to sell their properties due to the recency of flooding in Storm Desmond.

The civic society seems to want Kendal to be preserved as it is (or even as it was) for posterity.

I live in the conservation area key to Kendal’s early prosperity (the wool trade). I live in a weaver’s cottage and have grazing rights for sheep on the green in front of my cottage. I love where I live, but my cottage was flooded to a depth of one metre during Storm Desmond, and I would not stay in Kendal were another similar flood event to occur.

Communities that fail to adapt risk the potential of collapse. Kendal’s evolution needs to include strategies that balance the inevitable risk from flooding with preserving our heritage.

Unless the civic society has the funds to buy this area and turn it into a tourist attraction (similar to what has happened with some of Yorkshire’s former mills), I suggest that history and progress need to work hand in hand, not against each other.

Lis Dales