Over Winter Flood Gate Closure at Warkworth - Advice from the Environment Agency

Following attendance at the Parish Council meeting on 4 October 2018 by representatives of the Environment Agency, a letter has been sent to affected residents and copied to the Parish Council for information. The content of that letter is as follows:-

I am writing in connection with the Environment Agency’s decision to change the arrangements for Warkworth flood gates this winter. Two officers from the Northumberland Asset Performance team, Alex Haley and Les Collingwood, attended the parish council meeting on Thursday 4 October 2018 to explain our concerns about the gates being closed permanently over the winter and why we have made the decision to close the gates for the periods of greatest risk. They listened to concerns raised by several residents, both at the meeting and via correspondence beforehand and agreed to take the matter away to discuss with senior managers.

I have discussed the matter in detail with the staff involved and have decided to continue with our plan to proactively close the gates for the periods of high tides and to continue to close them when we expect a fluvial event on the River Coquet. Whilst I appreciate that having the gates closed over the winter could provide peace of mind as things stand currently we have the gates closed for a much longer period than we need to. I also know that Alex and Les have looked at this in great detail and I fully support their recommendation.

I think it is important to note that this is still much more conservative arrangement than we successfully use in other communities.

This arrangement will continue to provide flood risk protection to residents but also ease some of our concerns regarding the condition of the gates and ensures we block the Public Footpath for less time.

As with all flood defences we manage we will routinely review the arrangements and make changes in future years, should they be necessary.

Yours faithfully,

Donna Robinson

Local Delivery Lead, Operations

Environment Agency - North East Area

03708 506 506 / enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk