Press release: Northwich flood risk management scheme officially opened

Guests were invited to a special event on Friday 30 June to mark the completion of the final phase of construction for the £7 million defences.

The market town of Northwich suffered serious flooding in 1946 and more recently in 2000 and 2012. This has caused distress and financial impact for residents as well as costing millions of pounds worth of damage to homes and businesses.

The new scheme reduces flood risk to almost 400 homes and businesses as well as 3 development sites in Northwich, Cheshire. It is the result of close effective partnership working between the Environment Agency, Northwich Town Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Northwich BID and the Canal and Rivers Trust, as well as local businesses and the wider community.

The scheme itself is made up of 1.7km of flood defences using a combination of flood walls and embankments, along the banks of the River Dane and River Weaver. To ensure that Northwich’s historic facade is kept intact, the project has used high quality finishes on the walls and state-of-the-art solutions including glass panels and floating ecosystems in order to reduce the visual impact of the defences. In addition to fixed flood defences, the scheme will also use demountable defences and flood gates across key footpaths and highways.

Lee Rawlinson, Environment Agency Area Manager, said:

This scheme will help to keep the local community protected while at the same time helping to safeguard the economic investment in the town, and the permanent jobs created as a result. Northwich is at risk of flooding from the Rivers Dane and Weaver and the construction of this flood scheme will reduce the risk to nearly 400 local homes which equates to protecting more than 1,000 residents and further businesses. Cheshire West and Chester Council has been working tirelessly to encourage development in the town and by reducing the risk of flooding, we can further boost the confidence of potential investors and ensure Northwich continues to prosper during, what are, challenging times.

Councillor Samantha Dixon, Leader of Chester West and Cheshire Council, who officially opened the scheme, said the flood defence project would play a key role in the town’s continued economic growth. She explained:

Recent public investment in Northwich includes £35 million for the capital works to stabilise the town from subsidence, and future growth plans include £100 million of private investment and £15 million of public investment. The partnership work undertaken during the last few years will help to put Northwich in a much better economic position for the future and will help to support inward investment.

Even with new flood defences in place, the risk of flooding can never entirely be removed. It is important that residents prepare in advance. They can start by telephoning the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 to find out if they can sign up for free flood warnings.

Information about preparing for flooding, including how to check your flood risk, develop a flood plan and putting together a flood kit is also available online.

News story: Fine of £26,677 imposed for fisheries offences

On 7 July 2017 JJR Fishing Limited, owner of the fishing vessel Golden Sceptre PD50 and its master, James West, pleaded guilty to 2 breaches of the Fisheries Act 1981 at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that in January 2017 the vessel was boarded by officers from the Royal Navy fisheries protection vessel HMS Severn which was carrying out fisheries enforcement duties in the area. During the inspection it was identified that the vessel was not transmitting on its Automatic Identification System (AIS), contrary to Section 30(1) of the Fisheries Act 1981 as read with article 10 of Council regulation (EC) No. 1224/2009. When questioned about this by the officers Mr West, who is also a director of JJR Fishing Limited, replied that he had turned the system off in order that other vessels would not be able to see where he was fishing.

The court also heard that Mr West had failed to comply with the obligation to submit a fishing vessel logbook, in that he had not submitted any fishing activity reports for two days’ worth of fishing activity.

The vessel owner, JJR Fishing Limited was ordered to pay a fine of £15,750 together with an additional fine based on the value of the catch of £2,250, with a victim surcharge of £120 and court costs of £1,500.

The vessel master James West was fined £5,250 together with an additional fine based on the value of the catch of £1,250, with a victim surcharge of £120 and court costs of £437.

A spokesman for the MMO said:

“The court in this case considered these offences to be serious in nature and imposed significant penalties, which recognises the scale of offending that took place in failing to submit logbook information and failing to transmit AIS. Failing to comply with regulations which apply to commercial sea fishing carries with it the risk of fines of this magnitude.”

“In these cases the MMO will always take the appropriate action including prosecution to ensure offenders do not profit from such illegal activity and to protect fish stocks for the wider fishing industry and future generations.”

Notice: BL5 3LU, Frank Knowles and Company Limited: environmental permit issued

The Environment Agency publish surrenders that they issue under the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).

This decision includes the surrender letter and decision document for:

  • Operator name: Frank Knowles and Company Limited
  • Installation name: Barton Fold Farm
  • Permit number: EPR/HB3536AT/S003

Research and analysis: Marine plans iteration 1 engagement summary

The engagement summary highlights the feedback from our Spring engagement for the development of marine plans for the North West, North East, South West and South East areas.

It summarises how the engagement was received by stakeholders and the results of their views on user stories, issues, common policies to address them and the digital format of marine plans.

Notice: LN4 3QB, Faccenda Foods Limited: environmental permit issued

The Environment Agency publish permits that they issue under the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).

This decision includes the permit and decision document for:

  • Operator name: Faccenda Foods Limited
  • Installation name: Dorrington Fen Farm
  • Permit number: EPR/XP3634DX/A001