UPDATE FROM AARON MCNEILL, FCERM MANAGER, FLOOD & COASTAL EROSION RISK MANAGEMENT, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL:
"Discussions with the EA [Environment Agency] about the waste permit are ongoing and we continue to work towards beginning on site in April 2021, but timings will depend on this permit. In preparation for work beginning next April and on finding lizards on site, we have to move quite quickly to protect the lizards before they hibernate. To this end, our contractor BAM Nuttal will return to site next week, for a period of 2-3 weeks to cut back the vegetation within the planned working areas. This work is critical to enabling us to work towards our target dates for the main works. As previously, the contractor will base themselves on the Coal Authorities land south of the river. The samples taken during last month's site investigation are being analysed in the laboratory to further inform the design. We expect to be able to publish the updated risk assessment mid to late November. Rick O'Farrell has met with the Coal Authority to discuss the scheme and seek their cooperation and financial support in progressing the scheme. The CA recognises the importance of the scheme and are giving consideration to a financial contribution. They have been cooperative in allowing us to use their site to date for our works compound and we expect this to extend to the main works next year, hopefully enabling us to keep construction traffic out of both Lynemouth and Cresswell. Alongside developing the scheme I have been thinking about how we can use this scheme to deliver wider benefits and, in particular, engage with the primary school in Lynemouth to contribute to the curriculum in terms of local history/industrial legacy, environmental and climate change issues, and geography. We are currently developing a proposal with which to approach the school and I hope to provide further information during next month's update. .. I intend to publish an online update later today".