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Action over floods discussed in village
A DALES village seriously affected by recent flooding held a public meeting to discuss possible action.
A meeting held in the Cross Keys public house attracted about 100 concerned residents of Bellerby, near Leyburn. Several houses suffered damage caused by flood and at least one resident was forced to move out pending repairs.
Howard Fricker chaired the meeting which he said he hoped would discuss possible solutions.
Also present was Coun John Weedon, chairman of Bellerby Parish Council.
Mr Fricker said he had lived in the village for 20 years and was landlord at the village pub for ten and knew of five flood-related incidents in the last ten years.
There was also a great flood in the 1930s.
Mr Fricker said possible solutions included installation of flood defences and clearing obstacles in the village beck. He hoped the recent heavy rain was a one-off and said other agencies should be involved in the solution. He read out advice from the Department of the Environment.
Resident Denise Morley, who has lived in Bellerby since August, said her family had not suffered any damage but she was very concerned as to the likelihood of a repeat and the effect that could have on home insurance rates and property values.
Coun John Weedon paid tribute to the residents of village: “Congratulations to all those who helped each other and showed a true community spirit in a time of trouble – well done.“ He said the last flood in Bellerby was in 2008 and following that the parish council met engineers from the county council who advised a feasibility study. Quotes for the survey had been given ranging between £7,500 and more than £10,000.
The chairman said it was ironic that he could get funding from the DoE for the work to be done but the study had to be paid for by the village. He was meeting the engineers again who believed that the flood problem could be reduced if not completely cured.
Several residents voiced their concerns about a lack of sandbags and the fact that the road through the village was never closed to traffic. This they said had accentuated the problem by causing water to wash against their properties.
A proposal for a fund to pay for the feasibility study was carried on a show of hands.
It is expected that fundraising could take place, as some residents were unhappy at a levy unless everyone in the village paid.
On behalf of the parish council, Coun Weedon said he would list the possible action that could take place and send out the proposals on a newsletter in the next two weeks. He would also contact the police and local authority.
Following the Meeting Mr Fricker said: “ I am pleased so many residents turned out and hopefully we will get something done.”