A new scheme to remove red tape and help landowners manage the risk of flooding has been announced by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, with a pilot for the scheme to be carried out on the Winestead Drain in South Holderness.
Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart said, “I have been working with landowners and farmers in my constituency to bring some common sense into the process of clearing rivers to prevent flooding. Currently land owners have to apply for licences to undertake dredging work which is costly, time consuming and discouraging.
“Earlier this year a group of volunteers from the South Holderness Internal Drainage Board were charged a fortune for licences to undertake dredging work which, when previously delivered by the Environment Agency, had not required any licensing at all. Representatives from that board joined me in London and met directly with the Minister to highlight the problems they had faced.
“I have been lobbying Defra ministers on this matter for the past 12 months and the announcement of this scheme is good news. I am pleased to hear that Defra will be piloting the proposal in South Holderness where landowners are acutely aware of the bureaucratic barriers to maintaining watercourses.”
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said:
“I want to make it as simple as possible for landowners and farmers to carry out work to protect their land.
“Watercourse maintenance can reduce the risk of flooding, enhance the environment and improve water quality. These pilots will make sure that people who want to carry out this kind of work can do so without getting tied up in red tape.”