Work on clearing the Stour of foliage and pruning trees to prevent flooding will not be complete until mid-March. The Environment Agency is planning to remove plants between Fordwich and Sandwich to improve the flow of water. The Stour and the Nailbourne flooded in February, prompting Canterbury City Council to deliver 15,000 sandbags to affected people. However, the agency said yesterday (Wednesday) it would not start work until January 5 and would not be finished until mid-March. Herne and Broomfield coundillor Peter Vickery-Jones, city council’s member for transport, is frustrated by the delay.
“I’m bloody annoyed because the Environment Agency promised us it would start this work quickly with the winter setting in.” Cllr Vickery-Jones said. “Now they are saying they can’t do it for a while. These reeds and trees have got to be cleared so the water can flow to Sandwich better.”
Water levels in rivers are already rising after spells of heavy rain. The Environment Agency blamed the delay on a bureaucratic hold-up, saying it needed to wait until four weeks after a public notice was published in the Kentish Gazette. A public display of the planned work is taking place at Grove Ferry Inn between 2pm and 8pm today (Thursday).
Herne Bay Gazette, December 4th 2014