Flood Reports

Kindly provided by our Village Flood Warden, Dennis Tidmarsh

February 2004

So January report was not my last!
It has been brought to my attention that a problem of excess surface water exists immediately on the footpath, by the road bridge, inside the opening for the floodgate. I did check this out on consecutive days during inclement weather and it certainly needs attending to. Those of you who have to use the footbridge will no doubt be aware of this problem. The matter has been brought to the attention of Halcrow Group Ltd. and they are going to have Nuttall rectify the problem, so please bear with us.

Secondly, on the question of property insurance that I referred to last month, I have had a couple of calls from villagers with queries. It appears that some of the information, given to me by the EA, that I gave to you last month is incorrect. Kislingbury is not in Category 2 - Medium risk but in Category 3 High Risk!
I have received yet more correspondence from the EA on the question of insurance and it runs into a page and a third so I cannot print all of it here. It is referred to by the title "Insurance and indicative floodplain may (IFM) - Kislingbury". I will give you quotes out of this document that may be useful, but should you require it in full then I ask you to contact the EA at the address below for a copy.

"Householders can determine whether their property is within the Indicative Floodplain by accessing the Environment Agency website (www.environment-agency.gov.uk). However, it is important to appreciate that the extend of the Indicative Floodplain shown is for a very particular condition, which is the 100 year (1% probability, 100:1) flood event, assuming that no flood defences exists.
The 100 year flood is not a flood that will occur once every 100 years - what this means is that statistically, there is a 1% chance of it happening in any and every year. When this information was initially prepared, the intended defence standard for Kislingbury was against the 100 year flood, which would have placed properties at risk in Category 2. Unfortunately it appears to be the case that Category 3 was shown in error. This will be rectified, since the actual defence standard provided is against the 200 year flood and Category 1 will apply.

The descriptions of categories 1,2 & 3 in last month's newsletter are correct. Apparently insurance companies use postcodes to decide if properties are in a risk area. There is a database known as RASP (Risk Assessment for Strategic Planning) though it is not intended as a pricing tool.

"The Agency is aware that the information is of variable quality and this has been made clear to insurers who have to comply with strict conditions of use, one of these being that the data should be used as a first step in assessing flood risk.
The way in which the database is constructed is that the risk categorisation is based upon postcode sector, for example NN7 4?? Contains 3636 properties and of those that are within the Indicative Floodplain a certain percentage will fall within risk category 3 (39%) and the remainder within risk category 2 (61%), presently no properties are shown within this category 1 in this postcode unit - since revised data has yet to be included to reflect the fact that the flood defence scheme is now in place.
To summarise, the current risk categorisation for Kislingbury is incorrect and all properties benefiting from the flood alleviation scheme should be in Category 1. Any individuals experiencing difficulties with their insurer should request them to make further contact with the Agency at:
Environment Agency-Anglian Region, Northern Area-Customer Contact - Waterside House - Waterside North - Lincoln - LN2 5HA

Your contact at the above address is Mr. Jim Marshall - tel. no. 01522 513100. I have spoken to Jim and he is happy to be contacted if necessary.

Just a personal thought. For example, residents living on Bugbrooke Road with a postcode NN7 4AY, is their insurance inflated due to the possible risk of flooding! It may be in all of our interests to query this with our respective insurance companies when next renewing the insurance.

Stop Press Since submitting the above report, I am given to understand that the database (RASP) will be updated in Sept/Oct '04 to reflect that Kislingbury is now in Category 1 - Low Risk.

January 2004

So folks, what you see you have got! Our flood alleviation scheme is finally finished and so far everybody I have spoken to is very happy with it and it is not the ugly looking wall that was expected at the outset. Some of you have asked about how the grass on the bunds is going to be kept cut? Part of the contract is for maintenance to be carried out, by the contractor, for the next 12 months. Once the grass has become established, the temporary fencing that was erected to keep the cattle, sheep and public away during construction, will be removed and then the cattle and sheep will graze over the bunds.

You will have seen that more trees are being planted and I believe that bout ten trees are to go into the copse opposite The Cromwell to replace those that were removed.

The contractors offices have now been removed, the footpath over the bridge completed so we are very nearly back to normal. I must say that I found the 'team' of contractors very co-operative and the disturbance to village life was minimal except for the residents in Mill Road and Riverside Court who had their gardens dug up. Any complaints that were raised appeared to be dealt with in a professional manner.

The operation of the floodgate at the end of the footpath by the bridge will be controlled by the Environment Agency (EA).

Some of you have spoken to me about property insurance now that the flood scheme is in place. At a recent EA seminar that I attended I raised this question and have received the following from the EA that you may find helpful:

the Govt. has reached an agreement with ABI (Assoc. of British Insurers) as to the provision of cover within flood risk areas. This is based on 3 categories:

Category 1. Low risk, less than 0.5% probability of flooding in any one year (greater than 200:1)
Category 2. Medium risk, between 1.33% & 0.5% probability in any one year (75:1 to 200:1)
Category 3. High risk, greater than1.33% probability in any one year (less than 75:1)

For properties within category 1 & 2, ABI members will offer flood cover in the normal way on buildings and contents policies to home owners and small businesses. This applies to both existing policy holders and new customers.

Apparently the EA has shared information with ABI that allows them to determine which of the 3 risk categories applies to a particular area. When this was done we did not have a flood scheme in place so Kislingbury has been placed in Category 2 Medium Risk. However, now that we have a flood alleviation scheme in place providing a 200 year standard of protection, when the data is revised we will be in category 1 Low Risk.

I hope that the above is of assistance but should you have a query, then I suggest you ask your insurers to speak with the EA to clarify any point.

Well folks, this is the last of my "flood reports" and Andrea Holton, our editor, will now have more space each month. It was back in December 2000 that I submitted the first report for the Kislingbury News and hopefully I have managed to keep you informed each month of what was happening or going to happen. I have found it interesting and know much more about rivers and flooding than I knew previously. No more meetings on the bridge in the early hours of the morning watching the river level so many of you can now sleep in peace.

Many thanks for all the complimentary comments that I have received from you over the years and months and I will still be the village flood warden - hopefully in name only.

December 2003

At the time of submitting this report the contractors are still with us putting the final touches to our flood scheme so by the time that you read this the contractors will have gone. They expect to be away by 28th November and the site offices will be removed in the first two weeks of December. So the contract was not without some excitement! No doubt you heard about the world war two mortar shell that was found on November 5th! Apparently they believe it was dug up when they dug the footings for the wall in David Sanders field at the bottom of Beech Lane but was not noticed. It came to light when the mound of earth that been left at the end of the bund was moved. One of the site engineers carried it to the site office and then the panic started. The bomb disposal squad made it safe and took it away but if it had not been a successful operation there was every possibility that the Total petrol station would have been closed, fuel pumped out of the tanks and residents evacuated from a wide area.

In the field behind Riverside Court on the North bank you will see a fenced off area where additional trees are to be planted. This is not an area where unexploded ammunition is laying as has been suggested!

A couple called at my house, in my absence, to complain about the ramp on the footbridge over the river but did not leave their details so I was unable to tell them that the excessive gradient of this ramp had been recognized by the Environment Agency and will be reduced considerably. No doubt it has now been done and should be acceptable to everyone?

You will recall that there was a street light by the road bridge and this will be repositioned by the electricity board in conjunction with the Parish Council. With the construction of the flood defense there are now 11 outlets into the river and ll of these will have non return flaps fitted.

The old entrance into the playing fields is being closed off and additional trees and shrubs planted.

Some of you have expressed concern over the surface water drains in the village and that they do not appear to be functioning properly. I intend to raise this matter with the Parish Council and will keep you informed of progress.

On a final note, I have been asked by the contractors to pass on their sincere thanks to all of the residents who have been directly involved with the construction for their co-operation and understanding and I believe that a personal note will be sent out in due course.

November 2003

By the time that you are reading this report you will have realised that the contractors are still with us and the completion date given last month (28th October) has been extented to 14th November. The delay is due to the stone masons running behind schedule.

The bund around Mrs Lacey's bungalow, near the turn, is complete and I feel it is only a shame that the flood scheme from the Mill to the Playing Fields could not have been the same height!!

Some of you have commented about the new wall from the existing roadbridge going round into Beech Lane to the footbridge and found it a rather tight turn, especially if there is traffic coming out of Beech Lane. At my request, you have either spoken to or written to Mike Hastings of Halcrow and they have agreed to redesign the two buttresses that were protruding out and they will now be taken back in line with the curve of the wall. I do admit that when I drove round the corner it was very evident that the width of the Beech Lane appeared to have decreased. On checking measurements it was found that the white line that was put down after resurfacing was not central to the road and this will be rectified. Some of you were of the opinion that the wall had been constructed on the old road but I can assure you that this is not the case having seen photographs taken of this particular area 'before' and 'after'. However, by the time that you read this report all rectification work will have been carried out and I do believe that in a very short space of time we will all be acquainted with the situation.

In respect of the footpath over the river Cromwell, there is a floodgate that will be locked back in the open position on the riverside of the floodwall. It will be the responsibility of the Environment Agency to close this gate in times of high water.

October 2003

Over the last month you will have seen much activity around the road bridge and satisfactory progress is being made by the contractors. The bund has now been tied in with Riverside Court and Mill Road and the works at Mill Road are almost complete. The area of concentration is around the roadbridge and Beech Lane and the contractors offer their apologies for the extended closure of Beech Lane, which should open on 3rd October, hopefully.

The new access road into the playing field is under construction and most of the bund has been put into place within the playing fields, to be completed when the new access road is in operation. Why do the youths, I assume from the village, think it is a great idea to flatten the safety fencing by the children’s play area every night? What pleasure they get from it I fail to understand and one day one of them will get hurt and no doubt a claim for compensation will be raised. Do the parents realise what the children are up to when they are not in the home?

Strengthening of the bridge, as I reported in last month’s flood report, should have commenced on 23rd September and also preparatory work for a bund around Mrs Lacey’s Bungalow and adjacent commercial properties will have started.

The contractors are working to a completion date of 28th October and hopefully the weather will hold out for them to meet this deadline.

2nd October 2003

At a recent meeting with the Environment Agency the Kislingbury flood defences that are under construction were discussed.

When completed later this month, the defences will protect the village from a 1 in 200 years flood event.

The Agency also reported that they are undertaking Flood Warden training on 14th November 2003, when they will be training 12 Wardens including one from Kislingbury.
Provided by Gerry Crawford, Parish Council Member

September 2003

Since the last report in July the contractors have been making significant advancement with the flood scheme and are expecting to complete the contract at the end of October. No doubt the excellent weather that we have had has been advantageous.

In July, a party of interested villagers took the opportunity to visit the construction site to see at first hand the construction of the flood alleviation scheme and Mike Hastings, Halcrow Site Supervisor, gave an informative commentary as we progressed along the site. Thanks Mike for your valuable time and courtesy on the night.

By the time that you receive this edition of the newsletter, the contractors will have started work on strengthening the road bridge and the traffic lights already in place are scheduled to be there for about four weeks and Beech Lane will be closed from 1st September for two weeks. Strengthening of the bridge will entail drilling horizontal holes beneath the roadway and vertical holes through the parapets with reinforcing bars inserted to give added strength. In the event of a flood situation, with the floodwalls in place, there will be tremendous water pressure exerted against the bridge so strengthening is necessary. In addition to this work, the two Northern arches of the bridge will be cleaned out and the bases concreted. A short temporary diversion of the footbridge by the roadbridge will be put into place while the floodwall is constructed on the South side.

In respect of the playing of fields, major changes to the original design have taken place for a variety of reasons. The idea of a ramp going into the playing fields at the entrance was not acceptable to the KPFA and the flood bund that was to be built across the area of the playing fields that is used as a car park would mean a greatly reduced parking facility. As a result of meetings with Halcrow, Nuttall and KPFA, it has now been agreed that there will be two phases of operation.

Phase 1. A new access road will be constructed into the playing field where the wooden five gate bar is located and the road will run parallel with the field on the right hand side joining up with the existing concrete going to the bowls and cricket clubs. The road will be asphalted and strong enough to support the weight of coaches and lorries. Some of the childrens' play equipment will be taken out of use temporarily.

Phase 2. Will commence when the new entrance is opened.

The existing entrance will be permanently closed and the bund will follow close to the hedge in Beech Lane terminating by the new entrance. This revised plan will alleviate the necessity of a ramp into the playing fields and also retain more car parking space. The bund will be permanently protected either side by a fence of prevent cycling over the bunds.

During construction of the above work, adequate protective fencing will be installed for safety. If you look at the notice boards in the village you will see a schematic drawing showing the proposed changes.

The stonemasons are progressing with facing the concrete walls and they are using Wroxton stone-hand dressed and you can clearly see this on the wall around the bungalow opposite the Baptist Chapel.

On 26th August the BBC visited the site to do some filming for a programme involving flood prevention. I understand the programme is 'Inside Out' and will be shown on BBC1 on Monday 22nd September. This is usually 7-7.30pm.

Those villagers who walk across the footbridge behind Kisle Mill will have seen that the Environment Agency have recently placed a water level gauge board by the bridge. The larger numbers on this i.e. 64, 65 are metres above sea-level. When it reaches 65 then we start to get concerned or rather used to!!

Should anyone see any damage to this board can you please let me know so that I can advise E.A?

August 2003

No flood report

July 2003

You will no doubt have seen on the village notice boards a progress report that the contractors have produced. It is their intention to provide similar reports throughout the duration of the contract, so watch notice boards.

I have spoken to the site personnel regarding the feasibility of interested villagers visiting the site to see what is being done to protect us from future floods. As a PR exercise they are in agreement with this and I have agreed to co-ordinate any visit(s) so if you would like to visit the site please call me to register your interest. They do need to know how many people are interested, for if there are too many, additional visits may have to be arranged. Once the date(s) has been confirmed I will contact you with details.

Obviously, we cannot go on site during normal working hours due to machine movements and your personal safety. Therefore, the visit(s) will have to be around 6.00pm on a week day.

With the good weather that the contractors have had since the commencement of the flood scheme they re well on schedule with the work. The piling behind the two bungalows in Mill Road has finished and construction of the wall behind the properties in Riverside Court is well under way.

You may ask why have they not started to clear the arches under the roadbridge while the river is so low? Apparently they cannot commence this until August due to the fish spawning!

By the time you read this report the contractors will have started on the flood scheme along Beech Lane. As there is no newsletter in August the September edition may well give you a completion date for the FAS

June 2003

By the time that you receive this newsletter, the contractors will have placed the temporary bridge over the river at the end of the road to the sewerage pumping station. The contractors will access the conrstruction site from the A45 and I believe that a 40 mph speed limit will be imposed from the A45 roundabout to beyond the access road.

The following article has been submitted by Halcrow to keep us up to date on progress.

"it is now all systems go for the flood alleviation scheme. All planning Approvals have been received and funding has been secured.
As you will have seen, most of the trees that were on the line of the flood defences have been felled and the contractror has been busy setting up his offices and access roads.
Felling of some trees has had to be delayed because of nesting birds.
The present programme envisages that the flood wall at Riverside Court will be started as soon as the access works are complete and topsoil will be stripped from the line of the flood banks between Riverside Court and Mill Road. Regular progress updates will be given. (Most likely on notice boards - D.T.)
Personnel responsible for the construction of the flood defences are now located on site, their names and contact details are given below. As they are often "on the ground" please leave a message if you don't get a reply:

Your first point of contact should be Mike Hastings
Mike Hastings - Halcrow Site Supervisor - 01604 839135
Simon Spink - Nuttall Project Manager - 01604 832949
Brian Patten - Environment Agency Project Mgr - 01733 464339

The flood defences pass through several gardens and fields and the scheme has only come to fruition through the co-operation of the owners concerned. These residents face a significant amount of disruption through this year and have accepted permanent changes to their properties. The promoters of the scheme and residents who will be protected against flooding wish to express thanks to the owners on whose land the flood defences will be constructed"

I have mentioned before that there has been a change to the FAS passing through the Playing Fields and these changes have now been passed by the Planning Authority of SNC. Originally, it was to terminate immediately to the left of the playing field entrance. However, to upgrade the project to a 1 in 200 year flood scheme the FAS will now continue over the Playing Fields entrance into the children's play area where it will gradually reduce to nothing. This means that there will be a ramp going into the playing fields with a height of 700mm (27.5 inches in old money!) and the base will be 4m (13 feet) wide with 12% gradients either side.

Now for some more snippets of information taken from the EA report dated January 2000
Construction Methods: The flood defences fall into three basic types

  • Clay floodbanks
  • Reinforced concrete floodwalls with brick or stone facing
  • Sheet piled wall faced with brick
Some of you, and quite rightly so, expressed concern over the fact of water getting behind the flood defence and not able to get away. Maybe the following piece from the report may alleviate your concern?

"Under the foundations of the flood defences it will be necessary to construct cut-offs. Cut-offs are an impermeable barrier to prevent the movement of water beneath the foundations of the flood defences. This will be achieved by driving a sheet pile down through the gravel layer in order to prevent water seeping underneath the flood defences in times of flood. A French drain (perforated pipe) will be placed adjacent to the sheet pile in order to allow any water trapped landward to drain away". Does that help?

More next month

May 2003

7th April 03 is the date to remember, when work started on our flood alleviation scheme! However, it was only to start the clearance of the trees and shrubs between the roadbridge and the rear of the properties in Riverside Court.

I am reliably informed that work in earnest will commence on 28th April when the contractor will begin to set up his offices etc and place a bridge over the river from the access road to the sewerage pumping station off the A45.

It is anticipated that construction of the FAS will commence from the western end by the Mill, so this means that piling will take place behind the two bungalows in Mill road. The piling rig will stand on the North bank and operate across the river and work will take over 3-4 days between 09.00 & 17.00 hrs daily. This will be the noisiest operation in constructing the FAS and significant disturbance will take place with noise and vibration. If you are used to having a daily siesta, then forget it! For the technically minded, the noise level from conventional hammer is in the region of 100dB(A) compared to the background noise level generated by the M1 of some 57dB(A). The contractors do intend to use "silenced" machines throughout the construction period. All construction plant will be kept away from residential properties whenever possible to minimise disruption.

Working hours. The normal working hours during the contract will be:
Monday to Friday - 08.00 to 18.00 hrs and Saturday - 08.00 to 12.00 hrs
No work will take place on Sundays or Public Holidays

Traffic: There will be an obvious increase in traffic movement within the village during construction but the contractors hope to keep this to a minimum. One very important control that will be implemented is that movement on the village roads will only take place between 09.00 & 15.00 hrs daily to ensure the safety of the school children. There will be traffic controls put into place on residential roads using speed limits and traffic dust and possibly mud but wheel washers will be put into place and spraying water on access roads will help to reduce the problem.
Now a personal comment from me. May I respectfully suggest that residents in Mill Road, who normally have to park their cars on the road, consider moving them to a safer area in view of the large HGV vehicles, that may have to use Mill Road. Better to be safe than sorry!

Materials: All materials being used in the contract will have to be imported, as there is no local source. It has been estimated that the following quantities will be required:
4450 cu. m of clay; 580 cu.m. of concrete; 355cu.m. of facing materials; 46 tonnes of reinforcing; 465 cu.m. of earth disposal.
The above facts and figures have been taken from the Environment Agency's report dated January 2002 so there may be some slight adjustments but it does give you an insight into what is involved.

I will give you some more next month

April 2003

Apologies for no report last month due to unforseen circumstances.

In the copse between the roadbridge and Riverside Court you will see that there are some trees with a red 'X' painted on them indicating that these are the trees to be removed to make way for the FAS. Some stakes with red tops are also visible indicating the extremity of the embankment base from the river edge. Apparently, the number of trees to be removed has been greatly reduced from the original plans and hopefully none of the Yew trees behind Riverside Court will have to be taken out.

In respect of the temporary bridge, the contractors will be using the concrete road from the A45 to the sewerage pumping station for access to the FAS site. However, where it will cross the river has yet to be established.

The following article has been sent in by Halcrow, the project consulting engineers.

"This entry into your magazine is to update you on the programme and proposals for the flood alleviation scheme (FAS). As you are aware we were expecting to begin felling trees at the beginning of March to be followed shortly afterwards by construction of the flood defences. The delay has been caused by changes in the way that the economic justification is assessed, which came into being since Halcrow prepared the Project Appraisal Report. DEFRA have requested further information on the economic justification of the scheme. This information has now been provided to them. There is an advantage to this delay in that DEFRA have asked us to look at providing a scheme with a 1 in 200 year standard of protection rather than 1 in 100 years as proposed previously. What this actually means is that the walls and embankments will be up to 100mm (4 ins) higher, but there would be no increase in the land occupied by the new flood defences.

We hope that DEFRA approval will be received shortly so that tree felling and construction can start in late spring/early summer"

As you can see, the start of the contract has gone backwards but we hope that it will not cause too much of a delay.

February 2003

So we survived again! Over the New Year we had our share of rain resulting in exceptional levels of the river. Sorry folks, but I was away when it all started, celebrating the New Year in the New Forest but I made sure that David Sanders was looking after you. For obvious reasons I do not broadcast when I am going to be away.

I returned on the afternoon of 2nd January when the river level was 64.45 at 1500 hrs and it rose to 64.75 at 2000 hrs. I must admit, that I was on the verge of calling on the emergency team to come out and fill sandbags, but at 02.00 hrs on 3rd January it was still at the same level so I retired to bed having walked round many properties to make sure everything was in order. At 07.30 hrs the level had dropped to 64.70, a drop of nearly 2 inches- not a lot - but in the right direction and it continued to drop for the rest of the day. It is surprising whom you can meet on the road bridge in the middle of the night!

The strange thing about this high water level was that the High Street by The Old Rectory did not flood as was usual in previous years. However, Beech Lane did flood by Woodbridge and was just passable for vehicles, so it must have something to do with the Non Return Flaps having disappeared.

As promised in last month's newsletter here are some of the pertinent points from the Kislingbury Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) - Environmental Report - 2002. It has 74 pages plus an equal number of pages covering drawings, sketches, planning policy, photos, preferred option consultation responses etc. So the information I give you over the next few months is very much abbreviated and I accept no responsibility for any omissions or errors.

There is going to be some disruption to our village life during construction but this will be minimised by the work procedures that are going to be adopted.

Start date March/April 2003

Cost Approx £1.2m

Duration of contract 8 months

Length of FAS 0.75mls.

Contractor Nuttall & Co Ltd.

Route of the FAS It will be on the South bank; starting at the entrance of the Playing Field (Beech Lane); going North along Beech Lane to the river; along the river passing behind Riverside Court; at the end of Riverside Court the FAS will go across the fields behind "The Old Rectory" rejoining the river behind "Factory Row" Mill Road; it will then pass immediately at the bottom of the two bungalows in Mill Road, turning up the side of the bungalow and terminating in the higher ground opposite the Baptist Church.

The flood scheme will be made up of flood banks (with clay core), flood walls (with local stone cladding) and behind the bungalows in Mill Road there will be sheet piling with stone cladding at the bottom of the gardens.

In order to reduce the disruption by the heavy vehicles, a temporary bridge will be in place over the river, but at the moment I am not aware of its exact location. More next month!

January 2003

By the time that you are reading this report, the commencement of the long awaited Flood Alleviation Scheme will not be far away. I am given to understand that work is scheduled to start at the beginning of April with the contractors setting up their compound and offices etc during March.

The contractor will be Nuthall & Co Ltd who have recently built the dam at Weedon and are currently driving a box tunnel beneath the MI at Junction I5A.

Obviously there is going to be some disruption to the village during the contract, but if you have read the report that was produced jointly by the Environment Agency and Halcrow, dated January 2002, they do lay out various work procedures.

By following these procedures and only doing certain work at specified hours, the contractors should minimise any disruption. Copies of this report should be available in the village shop/post office for you to read.

I do know that temporary traffic lights will be placed on the road bridge at some point during the contract and that heavy vehicles and equipment will only be allowed to move at specified times.

Over the next couple of months I will take certain sections of the report and advise you of some of the more relevant proposed procedures. I know that many of the villagers, not directly involved with the flood scheme, find the points I make each month of interest and thank you for the appreciative comments.

May I take this opportunity of wishing you all a very Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year.

December 2002

At last, I can finally advise you that planning permission has been passed for the proposed Flood Alleviation Scheme of Kislingbury.

During the excessive rain that we had over 12/13/14 November the maximum level that the river reached was 63.95m above sea level. This was one metre below the level at which the High Street would start to flood. Below is an article sent in by Graham Boakes of Halcrow, for publication, concerning the proposed Scheme.

This is a short article prepared jointly by the Environment Agency and Halcrow to update you on the progress of the flood defence scheme for Kislingbury.

Following a year of consultation with residents and the planning authority, planning permission for a flood defence scheme in Kislingbury has finally been granted. We are still waiting for DEFRA's final approval for funding which was dependent on receiving planning permission. Detailed design is now progressing with construction due to commence in early summer 2003 for completion before the end of 2003.

The scheme now comprises a floodwall along the side and back of numbers 46 and 48 Mill Lane leading to an embankment across the fields between the village and the river. This joins a floodwall along the back of Riverside Court tying into the road bridge parapets. The floodwall continues on the other side of the road bridge, incorporating an access ramp to the footbridge, and becomes a floodbank along Beech Lane tying into high ground near the Playing Fields. The scheme also includes clearing out the northern bridge arches and low floodbanks on the north side of the river to protect property on the Northampton Road.

A number of trees will be felled along the back of Riverside Court but the yew trees will not be affected. New trees will be planted on the opposite bank of the river to compensate for the loss. We are also planning to improve the condition of the public footpath behind the Mill and we are exploring the possibility of including some community art such as carvings designed by local children in the stonework on the floodwalls.

If anyone would like further information concerning the scheme please telephone Graham Boakes of Halcrow on 01733 427995.

November 2002

A decision on the Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) is to be made within the next 5 days. I will report it in December's issue.

The exceptional heavy rains over the 14th & 15th October caused the river to rise about 1.5m to 63.9m - still 1.1m below the level when the High Street starts to flood. However, on the 16th October at 1700 hrs the level had dropped to 63.2m, obviously due to the Environment Agency (EA) controlling the flow downstream.

I am aware there are some new residents who are living within the flood risk area. I hope to contact you all within the next few days to introduce myself and hopefully allay any doubts you may have. Since the serious floods of 1998 we have in place various contingencies to assist those in the flood risk area, these being:
(a) An emergency team of volunteers prepared to be called out at any time of day or night to "hump and heave".
(b) The Village Hall will be made available to those who are flooded for hot drinks etc
(c) There are 6 sand bins strategically located with bags and shovels. These are locked and I have the key - one key fits all bins.
(d) In my absence, David Sanders, Deputy Flood Warden, is available & he has a key for the bins.
(e) My phone number can always be found on the inside cover of the Kislingbury News.
(f) The EA have an Automatic Voice Messaging (AVM) system in place whereby flood risk residents will receive an automatic message via their phone advising of possible flood risk. Please do not be alarmed or panic when you get this message. It can be frightening to some people. If in doubt ring me. I also get the same message I have access to a special phone number (which I will not release) for their Flood Control Centre and will establish the exact position. I will discuss AVM with the new residents when I visit.
(g) If required, the EA Floodline number is 0845 988 1188

We are unlikely to experience the same disaster as 1998. Since then, the EA have carried out maintenance on the river in Kislingbury. There is still room for improvement but the river flows well and the EA have better control of it now than they have had in previous years.

Recently, a large branch and cylindrical bale of hay became trapped under the footbridge by Kisle Mill and was removed by the EA. If you ever see anything causing a blockage of the river, or dead animals, please call me so that it can be cleared.

October 2002

I understand that the relevant changes, referred to in last month's report, that have been made to the proposed flood alleviation scheme have been accepted in principle by the planning authority and the revised plans have been submitted for approval.

I have been informed that the EA project manager for our flood scheme, Paul Mustow, will be moving on to another position within the UK. Many of you will have seen and spoken to Paul at the various meeting held in the village appertaining to the flood scheme. As yet I do not know who his replacement will be, but I am sure we will be advised in due course. I will keep you advised for I am a great believer in putting a face to a name and building up a rapport with an individual. The commencement date still remains for March/April 2003.

Despite the heavy rains we had some 3-4 weeks ago, the river level did not show and appreciable rise, so it goes to prove that the maintenance carried out on the river by the EA does help. Therefore, annual maintenance of the river is essential to our cause.

September 2002

Sorry that there was no flood report in the July edition, but as you saw there was much to report on in respect of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. Anyway there was little to tell you but events have moved on since the last published report in June.

The SNC planning committee discussed the flood alleviation proposals on 8th August and members of this committee along with interested village residents visited the village to study at first hand the "containment" proposals. I understand that the EA and Halcrow are looking into the feasibility of changes to the proposed plans to protect the yew trees behind Riverside Court and changes to the floodwall around the road bridge. The planning committee will no doubt be subject to approval of the changes above. The starting date of March 2003 is still effective and the scheme will cost approximately £1.2m.

Back in June listening to Northampton radio, I was interested to hear a discussion on the question of insurance for possible flood risk areas. Apparently, in conjunction with the EA, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are seriously looking into the possibility of rating properties nationally in flood risk areas from 0 to 100. Zero being a very low risk while 100 was very high and it is suggested that any residents in an area 90 or above would not be accepted for insurance cover. This proposal is still at the discussion stage and with flood prevention schemes in place flood risk properties will most likely be accepted for cover by the insurance companies?

July 2002

Very little to report on this month for you. The flood alleviation plans are still with the planners and no sign yet when they will be sanctioned. I understand that by the time you receive this newsletter a meeting will have been held on 20th June between South Northants Council, Halcrow and the Environment Agency to discuss the "Containment Scheme". Therefore, in September edition of the Kis news, no newsletter in August, hopefully I can give you more information as to the outcome of this meeting.

One very relevant point I heard recently on the radio was that the insurance companies are now looking into rating potential flood risk areas from 0 to 100. Zero being a very look risk while 100 was very high and they said that any residents in an area 90 or above would not be accepted for insurance. Apparently, the ABI (Association of British Insurers) have worked closely with the EA establishing the risk factor with various areas throughout the country.

June 2002

The special meeting called to discuss the "Containment" flood scheme has now passed and I have heard snippets of information from various people. I understand that there will be some notes appertaining to the meeting being prepared for this newsletter. I do believe that at the meeting a question was asked about the wells in the village? As a result of your assistance I wrote to Halcrow in May 2001 enclosing a map with all of the wells highlighted on it. Apparently they have not moved any further with this and are waiting for the flood scheme to be implemented and will then review the situation. They are confident that the wells will not have an effect on flooding.

Another point raised was the question of "non-return flaps" (not non-return valves) being fitted to the drains flowing into the river downstream of the road bridge. As reported last month these flaps will now be fitted by the contractor when the flood scheme is built.

I am advised that the proposed plans are still with the planning authority and outline approval has been given. More on this as and when it is known. March 2003 is still the date for starting the FAS.

A complete history will be provided when I have the time to type them up!!