River Fowey debris sparks flood fears in Lostwithiel
COUNCILLORS in Lostwithiel want action to prevent further flooding in the town.
Tonnes of silt and sand were washed down the River Fowey when the town was flooded in December last year, and a great deal of the sand still lies beneath the arches of the ancient Tudor Bridge.
Councillors are now worried that unless it is removed, the sand will block the flow of water which could cause flooding problems in the future.
Last year's incident was the second time in two years that Lostwithiel endured serious flooding when the Fowey burst its banks and 20 properties received flood damage.
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The town council has now written to local Cornwall councillor Benedicte Bay, MP Sheryll Murray and the Duchy of Cornwall asking for their assistance in establishing who is responsible for removing the sand.
Councillor Chris Jewels said this week that the council would like to see the sand removed as a matter or urgency.
"There is an ongoing issue with the amount of sand that is still there underneath the bridge which affects the dispersal of water coming down the river," he said.
"The Environment Agency and Cornwall Council are aware of the problem and say they will remove the sand eventually, depending on their budgets and the time they have to do it.
"But the fact is, the sand is still there, and it may take months for them to get round to removing it."
The huge amount of sand that was washed down the river last December has provided children with an artificial beach beside the river.
Mr Jewels said: "There is no problem with the beach, and the council is happy that it remains as the children enjoy playing there.
"But the sand underneath the arches is another matter, as we need to make sure the water in the river can flow freely through there, and we have been told it may take the authorities up to six months to get round to removing it."