THE Kendal BID business group claims, correctly in my view, that the Environment Agency proposal for a flood wall along the riverside at Aynam Road would blight the attractiveness of Kendal.

Incidentally, a walk along the Ouse riverside in the centre of York is unencumbered by such a continuous flood wall, despite the devastating flood of a few years ago; other measures were taken instead without the need for this overkill.

Moreover, in my view again, this wall may have other other serious disadvantages; it may solve one problem but at the expense of exacerbating another, while it may even be unnecessary when reviewed in the light of other alternatives.

The EA has claimed that, although the long-standing risk of groundwater flooding of cellars and basements will remain regardless, they want to make sure that during high river levels the wall will not make this problem any worse.

Yet in preventing flooding by overtopping its banks the new wall could potentially raise the river level above the banks during spate by a metre or more!

Therefore the water table beneath the properties in the Aynam Road area will tend to rise to the same extent; the ground beneath is mostly gravels and so is highly permeable. The proposed wall may reduce the risk of overtopping, as the EA claims, to a mere one in 100 year event, yet on the other hand permanently increase regular year-on-year ground water flooding.

Aynam Road cellars and basements will flood more than before but now from increased incidence of rising ground water! To this extent the wall proposed will be ineffective and counter productive.

I also suggest an ugly wall on the river's side of Aynam Road would be unnecessary if other measures were to be taken along the opposite inner road side.

For example, new flood-resistant boundary walls for all at-risk properties (flood walls, yes of course, but not along the river itself!) with flood gates at property entrances; plus crucial double flood gates across the bottom of Parr Street and Queen Katherine Street to be closed at times of flood alert.

Resilience grant aid towards the high costs of "tanking" cellars/basements should be considered.

Piecemeal measures such as these, comprehensively implemented, would make the proposed river wall unnecessary.

I concede that the feared once in 100 year flood event to be protected against might happen any time, even next week! Therefore it is essential a flood protection scheme is carried out soon.

But I hope that at least this part of the current Kendal flood relief scheme will be considered further and that any final decision will be delayed in order to allow this.

J. Higson