Posted by: westlancashirerecord | September 9, 2016

34 Areas Of Burscough Are Currently Known To Flood

Does that statistic shock you, as it does me? The areas are listed below. Drastic action is needed following the West Lancashire Burscough “Great Stink” statement of 2012. It follows a promise by the WLBC Chief Planner to residents “not to allow Yew Tree Farm to make flooding worse”. But Burscough will probably get the same amount of frequent widespread combined sewer flooding plus additional flooding due to house building since 2012 and global warming.

And it will get more regular surface water flooding on Higgins Lane, the Truscott estate, and Crabtee Lane etc caused by Yew Tree Farm with additional flooding on top of that because of the house building since 2012 and global warming. sewerfloodz

It’s a disappointing but predictable outcome for Burscough because it was never an evidence based decision that made the slightest sense unless you had the money to fix Burscough’s infrastructure first. Any unfortunates buying a home in Burscough built after 2006 which floods won’t be able to get reduced cost insurance because the government scheme doesn’t apply to properties built after 2006. img_0713

In London the Victorian sewers were originally built to serve two and a half million people. But they were already serving four million by time of their completion and now they serve eight million! In West Lancashire we have NWWA Sewage Treatment Works Marsh Road Hesketh Bank and NWWA Sewage Treatment Works Meadow Lane Halsall.

Campaigner Gavin Rattray received another reply from WLBC Planning to correspondence we’ve already reported. “With regard to your comments about the involvement of the Borough Solicitor it is plain on the face of the letter that the substance of the response to the petition is provided by the “Borough Planner” (now the Director of Development and Regeneration). The correspondence was provided using the letterhead of the Borough Solicitor as the Council’s petitions process is administered through his offices. That process is part of the functions of the Member Services’ office, within the Borough Solicitor’s area of responsibility, that assists in coordinating responses to petitions. The Member Services officer who signed the letter was following accepted practice and “top and tailing” the letter, e.g. to note the availability of follow on action in addition to providing the response of the (then) Borough Planner (in quotation marks and different font as well as noting the source), in line with the petitions process. This last paragraph gives further confirmation of the involvement of the Borough Solicitor and reiterates what you have already been advised of. 2012

“The reason that the current chain of email correspondence between us is (for the Council’s part) being written and sent by me is that the matters you are raising are no longer to do with the petition, which was administered through the Borough Solicitor’s officers, but are wholly about a planning application and planning-related matters, which are dealt with by the Development and Regeneration Service.

“With regard to your comments on my email dated 31st August 2016, it was United Utilities who did not agree with the conclusions of the SCP Report. Their reasons why were made clear in their written response to planning application 2015/0171/OUT (comments dated 13th January 2016). img_2017-1

“Turning to the other issues you raise regarding the proposed development causing increased greenfield run-off rates in existing watercourses, I can only re-iterate my response of 5th July 2016 that the provision of surface water attenuation on-site is a key difference to the existing situation and designed so as to not make the situation off-site any worse. The provision of on-site attenuation was carefully considered by all relevant drainage bodies and, subject to conditions, would not increase the risk of flooding off-site. As such, the Council was not in a position to refuse the application on drainage grounds and is content that, through the use of the conditions to be applied to the outline permission, appropriate drainage measures can be put in place through the proposed development to not increase the risk of flooding off-site”.

Mr Rattray responded yesterday “Thank you kindly for your response.

“As you know from my first letter at the beginning of June I have concerns about the sewer flooding risk but my primary concern was the downstream flood risk from the watercourses going to Crabtree Lane. In an effort to ensure that all my questions are answered I have emboldened the questions below.

“As you also know SCP did identify several problems with the sewer mitigation plans which, I believe, were: inadequate size of the water storage planned; a failure to see the importance of removing the surface water at the point where the additional foul flow will be added; and a failure to identify that the mitigating flow calculated was incorrect because the Lordsgate Lane surface water sewer is too small and physically unable to flow the amount calculated

“Without being redressed these problems could cause additional sewer flooding [filth, damage and misery, my words] “in an area that can already flood widely due to the inadequacy of its sewer network” (to paraphrase UU).

“SCP had a tiny budget and not much time, so it would seem inevitable that they might have made mistakes but without their work, UU, WLBC and the developers wouldn’t have looked at their calculations and designs again and improved them, hopefully making it less likely that Burscough residents will suffer an increase in sewer flooding because of YTF.

“As UU is a for profit firm, with no duty of impartiality and SCP was employed by BCP who, like WLBC, has a duty in law to act in a fair, reasonable way, including considering all the evidence; please would you clarify which conclusions in the SCP report (Drainage assessment Review0001) WLBC disagrees with and why?

“I don’t have the luxury of being able to read another independent SCP report into the problems with Burscough’s surface water system because BCP don’t have the money to spend on consultants to check every scheme which is likely to cause flooding. This is why I am asking, what I believe are relatively simple questions and have been doing so for three months, yet despite its earlier mistake WLBC seem unwilling to provide straightforward unambiguous answers.

“Because the YTF development will increase the annual water flow into one or both of the watercourses that flow across YTF and under Higgins Lane by increasing the flows at Greenfield runoff rate whenever it rains and these two watercourses combine and feed into the Crabtree Lane area, which already floods widely and has done so in three of the past five years, please can I see the calculations, results of modelling exercises undertaken, or any evidence WLBC have that this change will not making flooding in Burscough worse? And if WLBC don’t have any evidence, please can I have an explanation why WLBC believe increasing the annual flow into the flood prone watercourses upstream of Crabtree Lane won’t increase the frequency and/or severity of flooding experienced by the unfortunate residents of the Truscott estate and Crabtree Lane?

“It is clear that, despite surface water flooding in Burscough being highlighted as a severe local issue to WLBC since 2005, there is no mention of it as an issue in the Local Plan except in relation to avoiding additional surface water being discharged into the public sewerage system, this is confirmed by the planning inspectors final report which states that “The Council’s Infrastructure Delivery Plan identifies three potential sewerage capacity and water supply constraints affecting future development in the borough. These are: sewerage capacity problems at Burscough (New Lane) Waste Water Treatment Works [WWTW]; surface water flooding from the public sewers in Tarleton, Hesketh Bank and Banks; and poor or variable water pressure in Tarleton and Hesketh Bank.”

“So, regarding your statement, “The provision of an on-site attenuation was carefully considered by all relevant drainage bodies and, subject to conditions, would not increase the risk of flooding off-site”, can you please clarify what these conditions are? Can you please confirm that these conditions address the flooding problems throughout Burscough from watercourses and UU’s surface water sewers?

The areas that are currently known to flood in Burscough:
Rear gardens of Liverpool Road South,
Carr Lane, Mill Lane,
Tollgate Road,
Higgins Lane/Industrial Estate,
Moss Lane,
Mescar Lane,
Pippin Street,
Weaver Avenue,
Truscott Estate ,
Square Lane,
Higgins Lane/Truscott Road,
Sutch Lane,
Burscough Community Farm,
Meadow Lane,
Chapel Lane,
Lordsgate Lane,
Higgins Lane,
Fish Lane,
New Lane,
School Lane,
Crabtree Lane,
Alexander Close,
Briars Hall Lane,
A59 Liverpool Road South,
Gower Gardens,
Warpers Moss Lane,
Richmond Avenue/Junction Lane,
Low Meadows Farmland,
Junction Lane,
Belmont Close,
Lordsgate Lane,
Moss Lane,
Furnival Drive,
Langley Rd/Crabtree Lane Junction

“I am also concerned about your use of the word ‘can’ rather than ‘will’ in your final statement “…the Council…is content that …appropriate drainage measures can be put in place…’, experience has shown that developers do not necessarily fulfil their commitment to provide facilities in their developments; what steps has the council taken to ensure that the required measures to protect residents from an increase in flooding will be taken?

“May I also have a response to my original question in June from the author of the statement ‘Chief Planner John Harrison’.

“Given that a planning condition of stage A YTF development requires removing surface water from the sewers and adding it to the watercourses; there would inevitably be an increase in flooding in Burscough due to building on YTF. As your letter in 2012 (attached) played such an important part in reassuring so many residents that building on the massive Yew Tree Farm greenbelt site “will not be allowed to make it [flooding in Burscough] worse”.
“Does the Chief Planner still stand by his statement? And, if so, what measures are you going to put in place?”.

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