On June 6 the planning committee of South Lakeland District Council approved unanimously, and for the second time, the Environment Agency’s (EA) plan to protect Kendal against flooding.

This second approval was made necessary by the objectors’ tactic of asking central Government to ‘call-in’ the scheme in an attempt to countermand the local, democratic decision already made.

Always doomed to be a futile gesture, and quickly rebuffed as such by central Government, this action by the protestors has had the knock-on effect of delaying the start of work on the flood defences until February 2020.

Flood-prone residents will face the prospect of at least one more winter with no protection thanks to the actions of the protestors, who include such bodies as Friends of the Lake District and Kendal Civic Society. Perhaps they are pleased with this outcome?

Speeches by protestors at the second planning committee hearing and letters and comment in local media show that, tragically, the closed minds of some are not accepting that the proposal by the experts, the EA, is the best way forward for the town and, to the best level possible, solves the age-old problem of periodic devastation by flood.

Surely it is now time that the community comes together to embrace the many positives of the scheme, on top of the protection and peace of mind it will give to flood-prone families. Kendal will be ‘greener’ to the tune of 3,500 extra trees; will be enhanced by new parks and footpaths created behind the safety and security of natural stone walls; new, safe cycleways will be created from one end of the town to the other, while new wetlands and natural habitats will be created at Jubilee Fields and Beezon Road.

Unfortunately many protestors eschew the professional judgement of the experts, the EA, and, like the White Queen in ‘Alice’, choose to believe at least ‘… six impossible things before breakfast’.

Everything from the introduction of beavers to the ‘re-wilding’ of the fells was proposed as the ‘natural’ cure-all for Kendal’s flood problem.

Alternative ‘technical’ solutions such as using the canal as a relief channel are still being produced like magic rabbits from a hat (Letters, June 6, ‘Canal could be the solution’). Do protestors not accept that, in the three years since they started the job, the EA experts have exhaustively and thoroughly considered every alternative?

Unlike Geoff Brambles (Letters, June 6, ‘Groups keep a watchful eye’ and May 9 ‘Get ready for a new view’) and Patricia Hovey (Letters, May 23, ‘Society works hard for town’), I do not rely on either my technical ignorance, on subjective advocacy or on misplaced ironic humour to make a case.

The £55+ million three-phase scheme has been developed over three years by some of the best flood experts in the world. It complies with government strategy, is environment-enhancing at the macro level and has been endorsed at every level of democratic scrutiny.

Scientific fact and democratic process make the case in favour, not me!

I only ask that protestors now also abhor the ‘...unhelpful polarisation...’ of Mr Brambles letter and embrace the positives of this great leap forward in the unfolding history of Kendal.

Ian Kell