Posted by: westlancashirerecord | July 27, 2017

Action On Meadowbrook?

Following the recent spat over the application to develop land at Meadowbrook in Burscough, Cllr John Hodson  has offered to act in Burscough’s best interests. We all might ask why wouldn’t he, as an elected member of WLBC that has statutory power to promote the environmental well-being of the area.

A council that has ignored the raw sewage issue in Burscough since long before the current Tory produced Local Plan came into being is failing in its wellbeing duty, plain and simple.

Gavin Rattray is not only a campaigner against the surface water and sewer problems, he is a resident whose home is close to the sewage threat. This is akin to Victorian drainage. Does that happen in Aughton, Tarleton, Hesketh Bank, to name a few areas?

Mr Rattray suggests that in order that Cllr Hodson can help, he needs to know why he is going to find that so difficult. He lists the problems here;
“The problems here are being caused by/prevented from being resolved because: WLBC’s Strategic Flood Risk Assessment doesn’t list the detail of the surface water/sewer flooding problems here. It is a very poor document that looks like it was written to support the political decision to build at YTF not to inform it first (Councillor John Crawford has spent a lot of time trying to get to the bottom of this issue); UU doesn’t fully engage with the planning process, it’s well known; UU actively discourages people from reporting sewer floods, we have evidence; UU passively discourages the same by setting an automated message (for example Boxing Day floods); LCC refused to accept the flooding evidence from Burscough Flooding Group (and presumably any other source); and that means LCC doesn’t investigate the vast majority of problems in Burscough or consider them in planning; We know WLBC has kept flooding evidence secret from Councillors and the public; We know that WLBC negates sewer/surface water flooding evidence presented to it, by employing a circular argument stating building in areas with surface water problems is okay providing the area is not a Critical Drainage Area, however, because of the failure of WLBC to agree responsibility with the EA, there hasn’t been a method available to create CDAs for years (and therefore aren’t any CDAs in Burscough); WLBC/UU/LCC and EA hold “making space for water” meetings in secret that they don’t minute, presumably so that the public cannot use freedom of information legislation information to find out what they’re talking about; and knowing them it won’t be CDAs”.

Mr Rattray says that “On a very practical note, I am obviously concerned about the planning meeting tonight, so please accept my apologies for repeating what are probably familiar arguments: if WLBC allow Meadowbrook to go ahead (without a reducing mitigating flow being removed from the sewers) then it will add additional load to the A59’s combined sewer. That sewer already surcharges in heavy rainfall near Mill Dam Lane, near the Square Lane junction and very near the Higgins Lane junction (we have pictures). A lot of homes on the A59 like mine have near misses when the sewer surcharges. At least one house floods internally regularly (and doesn’t report it).

“However, the problem isn’t just limited to the foul sewers, we also have a problem with the surface water drainage across YTF from UU’s surface water sewer at Meadowbrook, which causes flooding on Higgins Lane and within the Truscott estate. If the Meadowbrook development was able to attenuate any additional surface water flow from the existing flow then that would improve the situation for the long suffering residents there. Rather than taking maximum 106 money, why not ask them to also attenuate some of the existing flow in the watercourse?”…telling them to attenuate might be a better option, on pain of no planning permission!

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