To consider approval of grant funding towards the installation of Glass Panels along Aynam Road, Kendal.
The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder presented a report related to additional funding for glass panels along Aynam Road, Kendal. He reminded Members that the Environment Agency (EA) had been undertaking significant work throughout Kendal and the surrounding area to reduce the impact of flooding in Kendal and other nearby settlements. Approval was granted in December 2019 with work beginning in Spring 2021 and expected to be completed by early 2024. The Planning approval included installation of aluminium framed glass flood defence panels in three locations along Aynam Road, Kendal.
In response to the Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme, Kendal Town Council formed a Flood Relief Scheme Working Group, which included representatives from the EA and the Council to report on the scheme and identify opportunities to improve the visual design of the glass panels in public realm areas of the town. The Flood Relief Scheme Working Group undertook consultation with residents which resulted in a new planning application being submitted to improve the glass panels by extending the total length and upgrading to a stainless steel specification which was a key aspiration of the local community. Further ground investigations had enabled the EA to improve the design to more effectively control seepage and groundwater.
At its 11 November 2021 meeting, Council agreed a financial contribution of £250,000 towards the cost of the new and improved glass panels to be installed along Aynam Road, Waterside and Gooseholme through its Capital Programme. The installation of the glass panels was also dependent on a funding contribution of £150,000 from Kendal Town Council, however in light of new and improved design material costs, costs have increased with an additional £125,000 required from South Lakeland District Council in order to deliver the changes, increasing the Council’s funding contribution to £375,000.
Members expressed their support for the proposals and thanked officers for their flexibility and hard work to ensure this project moves forwards.
RESOLVED – That
(1) Subject to the Environment Agency securing the necessary further planning permissions an additional grant of £125,000 to the Environment Agency be approved as a contribution to deliver glass panels along Aynam Road, Gooseholme and Waterside in Kendal as part of the Kendal Flood Alleviation Scheme. This funding having been previously agreed as part of the revised Capital Programme considered by Council on 18 May 2022;
(2) Cabinet’s approval to provide a grant of £250,000 to the Environment Agency to deliver the glass panels along Aynam Road, Gooseholme and Waterside in Kendal be reaffirmed as previously agreed at Council on 11 November 2021; and
(3) subject to the Environment Agency securing the necessary further planning permissions, authority be delegated to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services in consultation with the Lead Specialist Legal Governance and Democracy (Monitoring Officer) to enter into an appropriate agreement with the Environment Agency within the parameters of the financial approval as detailed in paragraphs 7.1 to 7.3 of this report.
Reasons for the Decision
The proposal links to Council Plan Priorities of:-
Working across boundaries – Securing additional funding to deliver critical infrastructure in partnership with other authorities; and
Addressing the climate emergency – Working with the Environment Agency to deliver the Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme and mitigate risk of major flooding events.
The alternative option would be not to approve the additional expenditure of £125,000 however, this would affect the delivery of the Kendal Flood Alleviation Scheme that, in turn would affect the ERDF funding, as well as create reputational damage for the Council.
In accordance with the grant funding agreement the ERDF funding could be clawed back or a fine imposed as a result or any project delays. Should the funding towards the glass panels not be approved, additional funding streams would need to be sought which would create project delays.