View from the gallery

July 18, 2019
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Guest Blog

My name is Cheryl Berry. I helped many residents in the aftermath of Kendal being flooded by Storm Desmond and know only too well the devastation and heartbreak that was caused.

I live in Kendal and was flooded. Like many properties, the water came up through the floor, not from the river. I am totally against the proposed plans. There are too many flaws for the scheme to work, and in the process, our town and its heritage will be ruined. The visual amenity of Kendal will be drastically affected for hardly any benefit and even if all 3 phases were in place the scheme will still not significantly reduce the level or risk of flooding in Kendal .

I wanted to speak at the first council planning meeting in February but was told that you couldn't speak from a personal point of view about how the plans would affect you directly, so I sat in the public gallery thinking I would leave it to the experts.

What I heard was shocking. Supporters constantly referred to Storm Desmond in their presentations and our MP, Tim Faron, spoke about his constituents' mental health, how people could not sleep when it rained, suffering from nightmares and the constant fear of another Storm Desmond. He pleaded for the plans to be passed, but in the same instance, we were told that these plans would NOT protect the town in a Storm Desmond scale event. How can you plead for something but admit it would not protect them anyway? Kendal residents were given false hope!!

As organisations and members of the public spoke out against the plans, I watched with dismay the councillors disinterest in the arguments, whispering among themselves, some playing on their mobile phones.

There was no debate and I believe passing the plans was a forgone conclusion from councillors with little or no interest in our town. It saddens me to think these are the people making decisions for us. I left in utter disbelief and if I'm honest a few tears were shed.

When the scheme was brought back to planning around June, I decided to speak out.

Editor note:

You can read Cheryl's speech from the second meeting here:

Please sign the Save The Heart of Kendal petition to ask the EA to Pause, Review and Rethink their plans.


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