AMENDMENTS to Kendal’s flood defence scheme have been proposed after ‘technical design difficulties’ came to light with the previously approved scheme.

The Environment Agency has submitted a planning application to Westmorland and Furness Council to amend the flood defence scheme previously proposed on the western side of the riverbank of the River Kent in the town centre.

According to planning documents the Environment Agency has submitted an amended scheme due to ‘emerging technical design difficulties’ following the receipt of additional topographical data.

Plans for flood defences at this site were previously approved in 2019 but the new proposed development is considered ‘preferable’ as it is ‘technically feasible’ and provides a level of flood resilience while maintaining the openness of and access to New Road Common.

Proposals include a shorter 148-metre-long flood wall compared to the previously proposed 189 metre wall which will not impede access to New Road Common. The wall will also have a maximum height of 1.65 metres.

Plans include the construction of flood gates at the end of New Road next to Gooseholme Footbridge and at the pedestrian crossing between New Road and Blackhall Road. The floodgates have been designed to stop water running onto New Road and beyond during a flood.

Other proposals include the reprofiling of the slipway by replacing the existing gravel covered slipway with stone pitching to mirror the riverbank through much of Kendal and new surface water drainage will be constructed to allow for the discharge of water into the river, via an outfall flap to be installed on the dry side of the defences.

Planning documents state: “Though the proposed development alone has little direct impact on the economy of the Kendal, during operation, it does form part of the consented scheme, which is instrumental in supporting it, by providing greater flood risk protection to Kendal.

“The proposed development would reduce the risk of flooding to New Road and New Road Common which would indirectly benefit local businesses and the local economy across Kendal. These beneficial effects would bear no difference to those identified for the consented scheme.”

To enable construction, a single lane closure on New Road would be required for the entire construction period, causing disruption to traffic.

The working area would also result in the closure of New Road Common in its entirety however planning documents say the disruption is no more ‘substantial’ than the consented scheme.

The plans are currently under consultation.