East Anglia: Region may take part in rivers pilot aimed at cutting farming red tape
- Credit: Archant
The Anglian region is expected to be among a series of pilot areas for a streamlined flood consenting system to be put in place by mid-2015.
The new trials are aimed at cutting red tape for farmers carrying out low-risk watercourse maintenance activities to help reduce flood risk.
Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries Richard Benyon has written to stakeholders about the proposals, which will be trialled on main rivers regulated by the Environment Agency in seven pilot areas starting this autumn.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has welcomed the initiative.
The NFU said it will work with farmers, the Environment Agency, Natural England and Internal Drainage Boards to promote the trials and raise awareness of how to undertake maintenance such as dredging in an effective way which considers the environment.
NFU Deputy President, Meurig Raymond said: “There are many situations where farmers are able to carry out maintenance of watercourses, and we have been calling for a simpler system for them to get consent to do so. I am therefore pleased that the Ministers announcement goes a long way towards delivering that.
“The damage and losses suffered in last year’s floods remain only too clearly in the minds of many farmers. These trials will help those who are in a position to undertake dredging or other maintenance; but it will also be important that Environment Agency funding is available where it is appropriate.”
- 1 Community sadness after death of man who was found in river
- 2 14 players that could solve Town's left-sided problem
- 3 Man dies after being found unresponsive in Sudbury river
- 4 Former Suffolk poultry farm site could be converted into homes
- 5 Fire crews tackle blaze for several hours at Suffolk farm
- 6 'New-look' Aldi store set to reopen in Sudbury, creating additional jobs
- 7 15 strikers that Ipswich Town could turn to for goals this summer
- 8 'We're blown away' - Classic car show visits care home after roadworks setback
- 9 Bent names Town stars among his best-ever team-mates
- 10 5 miles of congestion on A14 after crash involving car and two lorries
The Environment Agency is continuing discussions regarding the location of the pilot areas, but the following have been identified as possible areas: Alt Crossens in Lancashire, River Duckow in Shropshire, River Brue in Somerset, River Idle in Nottinghamshire, West Thames Catchment, East Riding of Yorkshire and the Anglian Region
The final Regulatory Position Statement for the trials is yet to be confirmed by the Environment Agency. However, a draft Statement sets out the proposed situations and rules by which farmers and other landowners would not need a flood defence consent from the Environment Agency when undertaking works on a main river.