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Old Courthouse

The Environment Agency have given us this update:

"The Honest Lawyer Building along the River Cocker in Cockermouth partially collapsed on 8 October 2023.

We know the community will be concerned about the impact of the Honest Lawyer building collapse on flood risk to Cockermouth. We would like to re-assure you that we have extra staff at this location assessing any impact on flood risk and making plans to manage any additional risk if needed.

We are the lead authority for managing flood risk from the Rivers Derwent and Cocker in Cockermouth. Cumberland Council is the lead authority for the stability of the building and for any health and safety issues there may be due to the building's partial collapse. We have been talking to Cumberland Council

about the impact of the collapsed building on flood risk to Cockermouth. We have also discussed the impact of any further collapse with them.

Rainfall and Flood Risk in Cockermouth

We are monitoring the weather forecast closely. Rain is expected in Cumbria on Thursday and Friday this week. Before this rainfall, we will be testing the use of sandbags to block any possible routes where we

consider flood water could flow into the town at the Honest Lawyer location. This will help us understand where we need to build sandbag walls in advance of the rain currently forecast for later this week and in

the future as needed. The sandbag walls will be taken down when they are no longer needed, but the sandbags will remain on site for any future use.

Over the next couple of months, we are planning to use stoplogs instead of sandbags if they are needed.

Stoplogs are aluminium bars that slot into a frame to stop the flow of flood water. They are removed afterwards. We have spoken to property owners and landowners who will be affected by the sandbag walls

and stoplogs.

We will continue to work with Cumberland Council as they put in place plans to manage the stability of the building. We will re-evaluate our plans to manage flood risk as needed.

We are not currently planning to remove the rubble in the river from the Honest Lawyer building, having carefully assessed its impact on flood risk. We will re-assess this if the building collapses further. We are

developing plans to remove the rubble if our assessment of its impact on flood risk changes.

In the longer term, we are reviewing the structural integrity of the flood risk management scheme in

Cockermouth and repairing it where necessary. We are also considering the current standard of protection that the scheme offers and are looking at potential improvements, both in the town and the wider


Further Information

If you have any further questions about flood risk at Cockermouth, please contact the Environment Agency


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