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Tell your story so we can aim for a happier ending

We extend our sympathy for flood victims, people and businesses.  We were flooded out of our house for six months in 2005 because the flow of a a local beck was blocked by poor maintenance by landowners.  

The same flooding from Dovenby Beck occurred in December 3rd 2015 with the beck still blocked with trees and logs.  Fortunately our defences held and we recovered but others in Dovenby were affected much worse.

Some of us may be able to share solutions that may help other people.  Eg raised steps, mini walls, slotted flood planks.  New products are being released and need reviewed.  

This is part of our community’s history and your trials troubles and successes in overcoming the challenges of flooding should be recorded.  Please send writing, pictures or links or ideas to me.

We would appreciate free advice from a legal person to help us and landowners understand legal obligations about keeping local watercourse drainage clear.  

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Give information so the experts can work out how best to save us from the worst

 We live near Cockermouth.  In 2005 I asked the Environment Agency if I could clear our local beck, they refused because fish spawning downstream might have their breeding grounds affected by mud from me pulling weeds out.  They said if I cleared the beck I would be taken to court and they agreed that the law protected the breeding life of fish better than protecting our house from flooding.  A week later the 2005 storm overwhelmed the beck and flooded us out of our house for six months.  The beck is still choked up by trees and logs.  

In Cockermouth the river is forced into a "Z" bend and is trying to follow its new course.  Allerdale, our local planning authority, put the new police station and sports centre on a flood plain and both are flooded even though many people warned about the obvious flood risk.  

Allerdale reduced, yes reduced, the volume of flood storage attenuation ponds for a 10.9 hectare race track and car factory and Cumbria's Flood Officer supported the development because "There is no flooding danger to properties ... as the watercourses flow to the river in a very rural location"  Cumbria & Allerrdale's planning permission thus ignores downstream properties flooded,roads impassible bridges damaged and farming disrupted.  

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Someone needs to save us from poor local planning decisions.