Plans submitted for restoration project on Northumberland river

A planning application has been lodged seeking permission for restoration works on the River Rede in Northumberland.

Monday, 4th February 2019, 1:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:28 pm
The section of the River Rede where restoration works are proposed. Picture from Google

The Revitalising Redesdale project has secured funding to deliver a suite of river-restoration projects along the River Rede and its tributaries.

The river has not recovered from dredging and deepening more than 50 years ago which has had a significant impact on river habitat and ecology, the application explains.

The aim of the work is to restore river processes, reduce sediment input across the catchment and improve habitat for the protected freshwater pearl mussel.

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The proposal in question relates to a stretch of rapidly eroding riverbank west of Otterburn and north-east of Dunns Houses, with works to take place to the north and south banks plus a six-metre-wide strip of farmland on the northern side.

A flood-risk statement submitted with the application says: ‘Bank stabilisation and toe protection on the north bank will protect from continued rapid erosion until planting establishes.

‘A by-pass channel on the south side will be reopened to take pressure of high-flow water off the eroding bank and deflector fencing will provide further bank protection.’

The document concludes: ‘The proposed works are classified as water-compatible development for the purposes of enhancing nature conservation and biodiversity.

‘The proposed works will not increase the risk of flooding to property and will result in a net increase in floodplain capacity.’

However, it does warn that there is a risk that the site, which will be accessed from the A696 between Otterburn village and the first school, may be flooded during the course of the works, but ‘appropriate plans will be put in place to minimise the risk to the contractor’.

Revitalising Redesdale is a £2.8million, Heritage Lottery-funded Landscape Partnership Scheme, which aims to celebrate, conserve and enhance Redesdale’s rich cultural heritage, landscape and wildlife.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service