We are now a few days away from the planning application for the first stage of the flood risk management scheme for Kendal being closed for comments on March 3, and we would urge residents and businesses affected by Storm Desmond to offer their support in writing through the planning portal, if they have not already done so.

People don’t often realise that you can write letters of support. We know there are a lot of people and businesses who support the scheme but haven’t done this through the planning comments – we need you to come forward.

The Environment Agency and I have done our upmost to work through and resolve the issues being raised.

We’ve been talking with lots of groups to bust the myths and straighten out any confusion – some of which came from the fact that this planning application is the first stage, with two more to follow before the scheme is complete in 2022.

We are trying to prevent as many tree removals as we can – we have submitted a revised plan to South Lakeland District Council - and when all three stages are complete, we will replace the trees at a ratio of at least 6:1 – many semi-mature trees. We have also reviewed the balance of glass and stone wall on Aynam Road.

The important thing is that once complete, this £45m of investment will protect up to 1,437 homes and 1,151 businesses, while improving public spaces in Kendal.

We know that residents are concerned about other kinds of flooding – not just that which comes from the rivers, and we are actively working with other partners to resolve this.

Overall we want this £45m investment to make Kendal a better place for people and businesses for the future - please get behind this scheme to protect Kendal from future flooding.

Stewart Mounsey

Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for Cumbria