Councillors demand meeting over flooding

PUBLISHED: 10:16 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:53 11 May 2010

A FACE to-face meeting is being demanded with Anglian Water over flooding in Royston. Members of North Herts District Council s Royston area committee are calling on the water company to explain its position over moves to resolve the problems. The issue

A FACE to-face meeting is being demanded with Anglian Water over flooding in Royston.

Members of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee are calling on the water company to explain its position over moves to resolve the problems.

The issue has been raised after residents from the Twigden development told councillors about the likelihood of flooding in the future.

One resident, Jude Fairbairn, of Pipit Close, said she was permanently living with sandbags stacked outside her property in "fear of the next downpour".

She said that in the past, eight properties had been damaged by flooding - and each had cost an estimated £10,000 in repair work.

In her own case she had to live in the upstairs of her property while repair work was carried out.

In August she said she "watched in horror" as flooding again caused problems.

"Our homes are now worthless, and because of the flooding problems we would be unable to sell," she said.

Town councillor Robert Smith, who is chairman of the residents' group, said he believed the flooding problems were caused by problems at a sewage pumping station on the development, and the lack of adequate drainage.

Anglian Water has to clean out blockages at the pumping station virtually every day, he said.

But the "urgent and important" issue was flooding on the development around an area including the Royston Leisure Centre and Pipit Close, Nightingale Way and Woodcock Road.

He said this area had suffered "significant flooding" in July 2006 and August this year.

"The primary problem would seem to be that the drains at the leisure centre park are unable to cope with heavy rain and it runs into the development," he said.

"The drains in Pipit Close, Nightingale Way, and Woodcock Road would appear to be inadequate or blocked."

He said, too, that there were flooding problems on the development in Corvus Close and Curlew Crescent.

"It is shameful that residents on an estate built only eight years ago are suffering from major flooding problems and live in dread of the next heavy rain downpour," said Cllr Smith.

Cllr Peter Burt suggested that there should be a survey of all the drainage on the development, and that extra drains be provided in a bid to end the flooding problem.

Members insisted, too, that Anglian Water should send a representative to the next committee in November to be questioned over the problems.

Committee chairman Cllr Fiona Hill said: "We have a huge amount of sympathy and need to find a solution."

n NORTH East Herts MP Oliver Heald is continuing to press for action on flooding in the Burns Road area.

Mr Heald says Anglian Water has promised to monitor any build-up of fats, oil and cotton in the sewage system.

He is also arranging a meeting with Hertfordshire Highways to discuss improving highway drainage.

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