Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 26, 2017

Development And Flooding In Burscough

Planning application 2016/1318/FUL relates to Land North Of Junction With Liverpool Road South Pippin Street Burscough Lancashire. Development of 2 No. Class B1 office buildings with associated car park, landscaping and boundary treatment. Developments in West Lancashire are required by policy to adhere to “Reducing Flood Risk (incl. ensuring suitable on-site and off-site attenuation through design-based drainage solutions)”.
We publish here the response by Gavin Rattray of the Burscough Flooding Group who remain active in ensuring there is full transparency in all developments that affect foul and surface water flooding in Burscough.

“Here are BFG’s comments on the planning application for the fourth part of the Booth’s development referenced above. As a result of a number of residents contacting Burscough Flooding Group (BFG) to complain about existing long term foul and surface water (both UU) flooding problems BFG believe that planning application 2016/1318/FUL should be refused because it will make those problems worse by adding foul flow to the sewer in Admiralty Close/Lordsgate Lane and in extreme weather events it will also add surface water, from the SUDS system to the same sewers.

Lordsgate Lane has suffered regular flooding from both its surface water and foul sewers under Lordsgate Lane since 1993 which is at its peak on the road immediately in front of new development 2016/0406/FUL that occupies the land that was until recently a soak away point for these floods.

Residents state that Lordsgate Lane has suffered from a significant amount of regular sewer flooding since 1993. Flooding is recorded in a flooding register created by BFG attached. “Lordsgate Lane – Sewer surcharging problems since at least 1993. UU sewer surcharging both surface water and foul (more detail in residents letter)…Booths opened in July 2015 and connected a combined drain to the Lordsgate Lane combined system – resident reported increased flooding (with a vengeance) from December 2015” (Flood Records Burscough-Rev7A 23112016).

The lack of capacity in the sewers is known as a widespread problem in Burscough and in 2005 WLBC wrote, “The council requests UU to undertake work necessary to end flooding problems in Burscough and other areas of the district similarly affected. Consideration is given to ensuring that comments from UU reported on planning agendas fully reflect the local situation. The council undertakes to inform the public of their responsibilities which it seems do not always emerge clearly in the search undertaken before the purchase of a house…there is a history of flooding due primarily to the inadequacy of the existing foul/surface water sewerage infrastructure, notably Burscough…“ (WLBC Corporate and Environmental Overview and Scrutiny Committee Agenda – 06 December 2005).

In 2007 WLBC wrote “Burscough is a historic market town and has seen significant growth over recent decades. This has resulted in a high number of recorded flood events that are attributed to non-fluvial flooding sources. A great number of flooding events are attributed to the under-capacity of the drainage infrastructure. It is proposed that significant levels of regeneration will take place in the near future. Accordingly any major development within Burscough will need to consider its impact on these non-fluvial flood risks and whether mitigation or improvement works will be required as part of the development.” And listed “Ringtail Court as having possible under capacity issues (UU); Tollgate Road and Liverpool Road South as under capacity issues (UU)”. (WLBC 2007 SFRA)

In 2012 WLBC wrote, “It is known, however, that the foul sewers in this area are already running at full capacity and any further discharge could exacerbate the existing situation. Although there are both 225 mm and 375 mm diameter surface water pipes shown running along Tollgate Road to the western boundary of the site, they are highway drains and already known to be at full capacity.” (SFRA-Appendix-4-Surface-Water-Drainage-Overview-July-2012).

BFG holds lots of examples of documents obtained from WLBC through freedom of information legislation stating that Burscough’s sewers are hydraulically inadequate (limited capacity) one example is, “Burscough suffers from significant surface water flooding …due to the limited capacity of the system which stores and moves run off away from the area to the wastewater treatment works” (4.0.15 2011 LDF Lead 20110001.pdf).

In addition, in 2015 an independent consultants report sent to WLBC as part of an objection to the main YTF planning application 2015/0171/OUT states, “United Utilities would like to see future development refused until additional capacity can be provided in the drainage system and at the treatment works” (4.7 Drainage Assessment Review0001).

And identified based on their desk assessment that the Lordsgate Lane combined sewer suffered from flooding in 2015 because it was hydraulically inadequate, “The typical flow rate to be removed from the system [Lordsgate Lane/Admiralty Close] exceeds the capacity of the 150 mm diameter combined sewer” ( 8.6 Drainage Assessment Review0001).

The capacity of the sewers has not increased since before 2005 and in January 2016 UU stated that, “There has been a general increase in the recorded population equivalent served by the Burscough WwTW over the last 5 years of around 5% [it would be reasonable to assume this equates to between 5% and 10% increase in dry weather flow since 2007] ” (Letter From: Howell, Steve UU PLC Sent: 20 January 2016 14:58 To: Gavin Rattray Cc: ‘Crompton, Rachel’; ‘Ann Veevers’ Subject: RE: Legal/EIR/2015/11/ID94 (RJ) FW: Sewer flooding in Burscough).

During heavy rainfall in June 2016 (classed by UU as a 16 year event) Lordsgate Lane became a watercourse of both foul and surface water, Tollgate Road flooded at Booths due to water pouring out of the SUDS system; and the Booth’s end of the A59 flooded sufficiently deeply that the Police closed it.

The Environment Agency (EA) mapped allfloodsandhydrogeology [click to enlarge] the surface water flooding caused by the sewers in Lordsgate Lane and identified the road immediately in front of the development as medium and high flood risks:

Despite this and the evidence to the contrary from their own engineers UU currently deny there is a widespread sewer network flooding problem in Burscough and specifically that Lordsgate Lane is Hydraulically Inadequate (HI). In 2016 UU stated “The flooding at Lordsgate Lane, was investigated following your [BFG] report [that it was hydraulically inadequate and had been flooding frequently for years] and we found our sewer had collapsed. This has been recorded on our systems as a sewer collapse. We have no other previous reports of flooding at this location.” (Letter from Simon Chadwick Wastewater Services Director 27th June 2016).

September 2016 Lordsgate Lane Flooded and Lordsgate Lane recorded as a medium flooding risk (WLBCs records obtained through FOI). November 2016 Lordsgate Lane Flooded (WLBCs records obtained through FOI). UU stated that adding the necessary sewer network capacity to Burscough would cost £10 to £20 million (UU correspondence with WLBC obtained under FOI circa 2008)

Gavin Rattray – Secretary Burscough Flooding Group

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