Landmark case sees carrot grower compensated for intentionally flooded land

East Yorkshire grower Robert Lindley has won £14,500 in compensation at the High Court for damage to his carrot crop when authorities diverted flood water onto his farm three years ago.

Image: muffinn
Image: muffinn

In order to reduce flood risk to the village of Burton Fleming, East Riding Council, with the assistance of the fire service and the Environment Agency, pumped water from an overflowing stream onto a field on Lindley's 270-hectare farm.

After a three-day hearing which concluded yesterday (13 January), a tribunal made the award under the Land Drainage Act 1991. It has been described as a test case as it sets a precedent that authorities are responsible for damage to crops when diverting floodwater in this way.

Lindley was supported in his action by the NFU and NFU Mutual. NFU director of policy Andrew Clark said: "This demonstrates the need for the flood authorities to be aware of the consequences of actively flooding farmland when carrying out flood risk management.

"Fields are the most important part of a farm business and the NFU is committed to supporting members affected by flooding issues."

The government has said it will consider proposals to pay farmers to flood their lands at times of flood risk as part of its review into flood policy.

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