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Strawberry Grange, Cockermouth

December 2015

We are saddened to witness the devastation that Storm Desmond caused throughout Cumbria. Fred Story and the Story companies have been working to support local communities who have been affected.

While we understand the concerns raised by the community of Cockermouth, we would like to reassure the community in Cockermouth that in developing our design for Strawberry Grange we have been very careful to avoid exacerbating the known flood risks in the town.

The site was approved as suitable for housing by Allerdale Borough Council through a planning and consultation process, which is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment. During the planning stages, robust evidence was provided to the planning authority and the Environment Agency to demonstrate that our proposals will not exacerbate downstream flooding, including provisions to deal with future changes in climate and both parties were satisfied with these plans.

There has also been Flood Risk Assessment work carried out and extensive river modelling works, testing the proposed engineering up to a 1 in 1000 year rainfall event, to derive the final engineering proposals which have been approved by the Environment Agency.

Land at either side of Tom Rudd Beck will be retained as an undeveloped ‘blue corridor’ which will include measures to enhance the ecological and aesthetic quality of the valley as well as measures to improve the ability of the valley to store water in times of flood. This work will also extend to include the stabilisation of the banks of the Tom Rudd Beck.

There will be no net impact to the Tom Rudd Beck flows following installation of the engineering works as the attractively landscaped SUDs ponds to be built will restrict and release surface water flows at a rate equivalent to a Greenfield rate.

These two measures will ensure that no new home is at risk from flood waters on this site, and none of the existing homes downstream of this site will be affected by our development. Subsequent to this, detailed flood defence consents have been applied for and approved by the Environment Agency.