Rising costs and delays could scupper Kings Sutton flood alleviation scheme

The Cherwell bursts its banks near Kings Sutton ENGNNL00920140601080921
The Cherwell bursts its banks near Kings Sutton ENGNNL00920140601080921
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A flood alleviation scheme for King’s Sutton could be cancelled following serious delays.

South Northants Council has been leading a project to build flood defences designed to protect 48 homes in the Wales Street area of the village, but has been unable to obtain the necessary cooperation of all landowners.

According to a report by SNC, one landowner has steadfastly refused to provide their agreement.

SNC’s cabinet is due to make a decision on the scheme on November 14, but it has been recommended the council cancels it due to scheme costs rising considerably. Other options include revising the scheme to avoid the need for landowner consent and taking legal action.

A contractor was due to start work on the scheme in August, but without the agreement of all landowners, they have not been able to proceed.

This means the window of good weather needed to carry it out has been missed. If it is to go ahead after all, it will have to be rescheduled until next year, with resulting increased costs.

To date, SNC has committed £124,000 of funding to the flood alleviation scheme, and of that £66,000 has been spent. A total of £672,000 has been secured including cash from the Environment Agency and King’s Sutton Parish Council.

Dermot Bambridge, SNC’s councillor for environmental services said: “It is with great disappointment that we have so far been unable to reach a resolution for this project on which SNC has worked tirelessly to bring to fruition.”

The parish council is considering what, if anything, could be done to revive the scheme’s prospects.