Residents of a Dales village whose homes were flooded may have to pay for a beck to be cleared to prevent further flooding, a meeting heard last night.
Around 50 residents of Grinton attended a public meeting in the village church to hear from representatives of agencies involved in the recovery operation from last week’s flooding.
Homes and the village pub suffered significant flooding from water coming down Grinton Gill. The flash flood washed away access roads, caused structural damage to homes beside the beck, brought down trees and damaged the sewage system in the village.
A large amount of stone was brought down the beck during the storm and the meeting heard from residents who are concerned this blockage will cause further flooding.
The meeting, called by Grinton and Ellerton Abbey Parish Council, heard that several residents and the pub had been flooded again two days after the flash floods, following what was described as just “normal nighttime rain”.
David Bowe, corporate director business and environmental a North Yorkshire County Council, told the meeting that the Environment Agency had agreed to remove stone from the area where the beck meets the River Swale.
However, removing rubble from further up the stream was the responsibility of landowners.
Mr Bowe said funding was being sought from the Government through Richmondshire District Council from the Bellwin scheme, which helps pay for work after disasters and emergencies.
However, it was not guaranteed this money would be provided.
Mr Bowe said that if Bellwin funding was not forthcoming, the authority could get the work done and then charge householders, but he did not want to take this action.
Instead, the possibility of creating a fund to pay for the work was proposed with local authorities, including the parish council, and local residents contributing to the work.
This was only proposed for debris in the beck up to the location where the stream crosses from one side of the road to the other in Grinton.
Beyond this point, it was suggested by Mr Bowe that volunteers could clear the debris, at the same time creating measures in the stream to reduce the flow in the event of further flash floods in the future.
Residents were also given an update on the road closures caused by the flooding, with Mr Bowe saying they hoped to have the Reeth to Richmond road back open by the end of next week, and the Grinton to Leyburn road reopened by the end of the month.
Temporary structures would be put in place on the damaged bridges and landslide area, that would then allow work to take place on permanent repairs.
During the meeting, concerns were raised about the management of traffic on the hill on the narrow road running through Grinton towards Leyburn and Redmire, with residents noting that it was now being used by large vehicles involved in the rescue effort.