THE first phase of Kendal’s multi-million pound flood defence scheme is set to go ahead after it was confirmed the plan will not be ‘called in’ by the Government.

The initial part of the three phase Environment Agency (EA) plan, which envisages around four miles of walls and embankments by the River Kent, was approved by South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee in March.

However, groups opposed to the plans made formal written requests to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire for the plan to be ‘called in’ and examined with a view to a public inquiry.

But it was confirmed this week that the plan will not be called in, news welcomed by EA Flood Risk Manager for Cumbria Stewart Mounsey.

“It’s great news for the people of Kendal and we can move forward with the town’s flood risk management scheme,” he said.

However Kate Willshaw, who led a campaign to save trees threatened by the plans, said she was “very sad the flood defences will be going forward in their current form as it will be so damaging for Kendal’s townscape and riverside areas because of the loss of so many mature trees.”