LOCAL MP GRAHAM STUART has been hearing local objections to proposals by the Environment Agency to develop environmental compensation land along the Skeffling coastline.
Proposed realignment: “As part of the Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy we are considering options for realigning the tidal flood defences in the Skeffling area. We want to take forward a scheme to do that at this location as it will allow us to improve the standard of flood defence for the local community whilst also meeting our legal obligations for the creation of new habitat. Any scheme at Skeffling would be designed to provide maximum benefits to residents, businesses and the environment.” Environment Agency briefing document – PDF – March 2012
On Friday 13th July 2012 Graham Stuart attended a public meeting, arranged by Welwick Parish Council, to hear the views of residents and business owners who are concerned about the plans.
Chaired by Larry Malkin from Welwick Parish Council the meeting was attended by 100 residents from Holderness along with East Riding of Yorkshire Councillors.
Residents were worried about the impact that the proposed development would have on the drainage systems across the area and farmers were deeply concerned about their livelihood if they were to lose valuable production land to the proposed scheme.
Graham Stuart said “Local people have little confidence in the Environment Agency and are understandably concerned at the proposals to redraw the line of the bank. They want to know why this location has been chosen, what will be done to improve protection from floods and how the Agency will minimise the amount of land which has to be lost.
“If it does go ahead I need to be sure that there are real benefits for existing residents, genuine reductions in the likelihood of flooding and that more than lip service is paid to the views of local people. It’s a community in which people work together to get things done and should be celebrated not ignored.”
The meeting agreed that residents would submit written responses to their Parish Council and that an action plan would be drawn up. Representatives of those Parishes will then meet under the leadership of Councillor Arthur Hodgson to formulate a response to the Environment Agency’s proposals.