Farmland holds the key to flooding

Farmland holds the key to flooding in Gainsborough Road, says Jeffrey Best
Farmland holds the key to flooding in Gainsborough Road, says Jeffrey Best

Traced to its source, the brook that runs alongside Gainsborough Road in Corby gathers water from land outside the built-up area of the town west of the A6003.

Historically, that catchment supported extensive ancient woodland and permanent grassland. Most of the coppices were grubbed up in Victorian times and converted to grazing pasture.

By 1930 there were only two ploughed fields, but by 1971 the grassland had been entirely replaced by arable crop cultivation, and the land continues to be farmed in this way today.

In the past, continuous plant cover throughout the year would have absorbed much of the rainfall and slowed the flow of any surplus water into the brook.

Now, during the autumn and winter there is no such check upon its progress.

In the short term, a flood relief reservoir on the farmland could both reduce the frequency and extent of flooding downstream in the town and trap eroded soil.

A more profound answer to the problem presumably awaits the development of the proposed western urban extension to Corby upon the land in question.

JEFFREY BEST

Corby

Congratulations to the protesters

I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the challenge of the Lyveden New Bield wind farm appeal decision.

It has been a long and hard-fought battle and I hope the developer will accept the Appeal Court decision and announce that they will not put the local community to the expense of another appeal but will instead abandon their scheme.

When I first visited the site back in 2009 it was obvious to me that the wind farm should be refused because of its impact on Lyveden New Bield.

I mistakenly assumed that it would be an open and shut case – the council would refuse it and even if the developer appealed they would be laughed out of the public inquiry.

Even when the decision was put in the hands of the planning inspector Paul Griffifths, I thought that even he would accept that the harm to the setting of Lyveden New Bield was unprecedented and he would dismiss the appeal.

Sadly he decided, as he so often does, to acknowledge the adverse impact but say that it was outweighed by the need to generate renewable electricity.

Thankfully the High Court and Appeal Court have recognised that planning policy clearly protects the setting of our best heritage assets and that there is such a thing as an inappropriate location for a wind farm.

The planning system has badly let down the local community who have had to pay tens of thousands of pounds to fund the appeal and subsequent legal battle.

Let us hope that the recent planning changes stop wind farm developers believing that they have a free pass through the planning system and that they will stop pursuing such harmful schemes.

BRIAN SKITTRALL

Campaign for Protection of Rural England

Sure everyone is working hard

Mr Kane rightly acknowledges the history of the steelworks in the growth of Corby and this is something that the local council and the borough as a whole is very proud of.

However, there is some confusion in his letter that I would just like to clear up.

The bridge leading to Geddington has been an issue for some time now and as I understand it there has been ongoing talks between Northamptonshire County Council and the bridge owners, Tata Steel, who are the relevant and correct partners to have these conversations.

Corby Council has no jurisdiction over such highways issues.

I’m sure both partners are working hard to ensure any issues are resolved and we join residents in hoping that these talks will come to a close soon and work can then begin on the bridge.

CLLR JEAN ADDISON

Deputy leader of Corby Council

Shoot to kill has not been granted

Your correspondent Mr D S Lockhart demonstrates a lack of understanding of the law and the use of firearms by the police.

It is the generally applicable law of the land which dictates what is or is not permitted in the use of force.

Police officers are subject to the law. Any officer acting like a “cowboy” would likely find him or herself charged with murder or causing grievous bodily harm.

Politicians have not smuggled in a “shoot to kill policy”, which in itself is an emotive phrase.

The use of a firearm is only justified where an officer believes that it is necessary to open fire for the protection of another person or in self defence.

The purpose of shooting someone is to stop them from doing some act.

In the absence of any device that can render a person instantly incapable of moving, inevitably and regrettably that is likely to result in the death of that person.

Those who advocate shooting weapons from the hands of would be assailants or darting them with anaesthetic have been watching too many films.

Real life is not like the movies.

A person who is conscious is capable of moving and in possession of a weapon is still a threat to life.

It should be noted that in the case of Mark Duggan a man who was in possession of an illegal gun, a jury came to the conclusion that he was lawfully killed.

The shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes was an utter disaster for all concerned.

ERIC DUMBILL

By email

Why do they all hate each other?

Conservatives vote Tory because they hate Labour, and Labour in turn hate the Conservatives.

The Lib Dems profit like some parasite piggy-backing them both and managing to create excellent salaries for a small army of followers who don’t actually care who we vote for as long as they get a share of the money.

UKIP have policies which are what we all believe in, but find it hard to own up to.

They have never governed and we worry about that too.

But after seeing what the trio of the three main parties has achieved since sharing power, UKIP have nothing to seriously worry about and a great deal to offer in the coming months.

David Cameron tells us we are a rich nation and have ample funds to cope with a bit of a flood down south, and he will throw OUR money at it no matter what it costs.

But 95 per cent of this island has not been affected by the extra water falling from the sky and are still troubled and concerned about the austere times we are living under with a clear statement of intent that there is more to come.

Debt is the way of life we have all come to accept as the norm, and as long as it does not get out of hand there is no reason to punish the taxpayers further just to be seen as being able to “bully” and show wealthy minority of people asserting themselves over the mass population.

UKIP will, I am sure, see the back of Nick Clegg and his ridiculous nowhere men, and UKIP will take the lead from them in a much more affordable and just way for the benefit of the British nation.

It’s time the voters of our island started paying attention to the policies being offered.

We don’t want rich posh boys running our lives any more. To hell with the bankers and hedge fund managers.

TOM BINGHAM

Corby

Players provided great night out

Thanks, once again to the Irchester Players for their Harry Panto.

The costumes and effects were all brilliant, and the great cast and musicians gave their all, as usual.

The whole show went with a a bang!

FLORENCE NICHOLSON

Wellingborough

I can’t get them to stop ringing me

How can I stop a cold caller? The company has called me multiple times every day, even as late as 9pm.

I have tried BT with no help. I have even bought a blocker, but that was a waste of money.

Trading standards say they cannot do anything because they have not had enough complaints.

When do such calls stop being a nuisance and become harrassment? They started before Christmas and are still going on.

JUNE MATHEW

Corby