The Environment Agency is going to hand over maintenance of the rivers Babingley, Ingol and Heacham to the King’s Lynn Internal Drainage Board. Changes to the future management of these rivers will benefit both parties and local communities.
Landowners and the public were asked for their views in January 2014 and following a formal legal process the rivers Babingley, Ingol and Heacham have been formally reclassified from ‘Main River’ to ‘Ordinary Watercourse’.
This new agreement will mean that the King’s Lynn Internal Drainage Board, under the Land Drainage Act (Section 14), will have ‘permissive powers’ to carry out maintenance on these 3 watercourses. They will not, however, have a statutory ‘duty’ to carry out work.
“We are delighted that the 3 rivers have finally come home! We will be working with the Norfolk Rivers Trust and other partners to develop a maintenance programme for them, which we are very optimistic about. We would welcome other opportunities to work with the Environment Agency in this way,” said Phil Camamile, Chief Executive for the Water Management Alliance.
The King’s Lynn Internal Drainage Board’s Byelaws (KLIDBB) will now apply along the watercourses. Plans to undertake any works within 9 meters to either side of any of these watercourses are likely to require prior written consent from the Board. The Environment Agency’s Byelaws will also still apply if the proposed works are within 9 meters of any sea defense.