Six months ago Sutton-in-Craven Parish Council Chairman Cllr. Stephen Morrell arranged for a representative from the Environment Agency to come out and visit us here in Sutton. Claire Brown came and was walked around the village and shown all the affected sites based on the 2004 flood event. She agreed that we had a serious need for flood prevention here in Sutton. Cllr. Morrell pointed out that a village in Northumbria had just received £300,000 worth of flood defences in 2014 to defend just 30 homes, and yet here in 2004, 52 homes were seriously flooded in Sutton.
In particular, over the past month, the Parish Council Clerk has emailed the Environment Agency after each and every Flood Alert. Claire Brown responded by assuring us of a visit on Monday 14th December.
On Saturday12th December Sutton-in-Craven was within 15 minutes of the beck breaching its banks and being engulfed by floodwater.
Roads were flooded by run-off water flowing down from the Ellers, Crag Lane and West Lane, but the 500 sandbags distributed by the firefighters and Craven District Council staff managed to keep most of the water out of homes.
At the meeting on the 14th December attended by District and parish councillors, environmental health officers and Environment Agency officials it was agreed a long term plan was needed to prevent future flooding across South Craven, However, this could take up to three years and over £500,000.
Recent events have shown that Sutton cannot wait three years so a short-term plan was discussed costing between £3,000 and £5,000. It involves creating a bund from sandbags alongside the beck by the village football field, which would prevent floodwater going onto Manse Way and Boundary Avenue.
Both Sutton and Glusburn and Cross Hills parish councils are being asked to pledge £1,000 each and Craven District is being asked to provide match funding of £2,000. If agreed the Environment Agency would meet any shortfall.