Newthorpe development poses flood risk

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A planning application which Broxtowe Borough Council (BBC) has submitted to itself could put a neighbourhood at even greater risk of flooding, say residents.

Newthorpe Flood Forum members say they have fought the council before over a plan in partnership between BBC, Nottingham City Housing Association and Langridge Homes to develop a 50-metre strip of land in between Giltbrook and Newthorpe,

Peter Pounder's gardeon on Thorn Drive, flooded in 2013.

Peter Pounder's gardeon on Thorn Drive, flooded in 2013.

A protected Informal Open Space, Notts Wildlife Trust nature reserve and known path for surface water during flooding, they have been fighting the council for years to stop development but now another planning application has emerged, submitted by the council, asking to develop land off Acorn Avenue.

Nigel Lowe, spokesperson of the flood forum who lives on the Daisy Farm estate, said: “They have flagrantly gone against their own planning policy. It’s protected in the same Aligned Core Strategy that sets the housing policy. They are having to make a departure from their own policies to give themselves planning permission. If it was anyone else doing it, they wouldn’t allow it.”

Retired joiner Alan Brown, 67, said: “When they put the application in the first time, it was stopped. The same application has gone in just with Snopake on the number of houses, changing it from 33 to 34. It’s the same document.”

Phil Davidson, 70, of Thorn Drive, said: “Severn Trent did a model of all this and there’s proof that we’ll be flooded if they build more houses.”

The protected open space lies between Acord Avenue and Thorn Drive.

The protected open space lies between Acord Avenue and Thorn Drive.

And on top of changing weather patterns, more surface water from new developments will cause untold misery for Thorn Drive residents, it was also claimed.

Thorn Drive resident Peter Pounder, 68, a retired engineer, said: “The floods are getting more frequent. The big one was in April 2013 when 24 homes were flooded, 12 internally.

“My garage was gone, my tumble drier. It was a nightmare. I was bailing water out, I didn’t know what to do. I thought I was going to have a breakdown. I’m an old man and my wife is disabled. I can’t be living like this.”

Neighbour Phil Davidson, 70, said: “I spent just over £5,000 which hopefully I’ll get back.

“Every time there’s a flash warning we have to get the sandbags out. I have to lift 30 sandbags out every time. When you’re on holiday you’re calling back home to check everything’s alright. You’re never at ease.”

Nigel added: “It’s a dry island situation. The development is on the side of the hill and they’re catering for the surface water entering the drains from that site, but they’re not looking at the overflow when there’s an exceptional storm event.

“When the inevitable happens, who is going to be accountable?”

With so many issues on the land, the residents are shocked that Broxtowe Borough Council has re-submitted its planning application to the committee.

BBC said: “The Council will fully assess any application which is submitted and consider various factors that may affect the development of a site. An independent assessment has been commissioned and the Lead Local Flood Authority (Nottinghamshire County Council), the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water Ltd have been asked also to advise on the application. The Council intends to re-consult with residents on the report and on any amended plans it receives.

“The previous application was withdrawn because it did not fully address the drainage concerns which had been raised.

“A decision on this type of application must be made by elected members, rather than under powers delegated to Senior Council Officers.

“The council is aware of the incidents of flooding that residents in the area have experienced in the past and takes this issue very seriously.

“It will fully assess any application which is submitted and consider various factors that may affect the development of a site.”

BBC’s planned development will replace a Notts Wildlife butterfly reserve with a Sustainable Drainage System - a metre-deep attenuation pond. Residents say the proposed precaution will not do enough to stop the now regular flooding events that hit the neighbourhood.

Flooding on the land parallel to Thorn Drive, was solved in 1987 by installing a drainage system but as developments have gone up in the area, more and more surface water run-off is overwhelming the underground pipe and now there is the added threat of yet more development.