Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 17, 2019

Burscough Flooding Group Victoria Park Response

In response to last week’s frontpage in the Champion-Development Director’s thumbs-up for Victoria Park homes plan, Burscough Flooding Group objects to the Victoria Park development because “we believe it will cause additional flooding in Crabtree Lane, where any increase is likely to cause homes to become uninhabitable.

“Taken at face value, WLBC’s reassurance that the surface water from the Victoria Park housing development won’t exceed that at present was reassuring. However, what WLBC omitted to say is that whilst the surface water flow from the site isn’t going to increase, the overall volume will be increased and all of the flow will be diverted from United Utilities foul sewer, were it goes currently, into a local watercourse. That considerable extra flow will add to the already serious flooding in Crabtree Lane at a maximum rate of 25 tonnes/hour.

“In essence, WLBC have accepted a developers proposal to remove a flow from the sewer and no doubt improve sewer flooding but allowed them to add a larger flow to the watercourses increasing flooding because the developer said the alternative proposals, weren’t practical.

“It is hard to understand how yet another scheme increasing flooding in Burscough has passed planning.

“Burscough Flooding Group”

The Burscough Parish Council website  states “Burscough is low lying, and much of its area was once part of a large mere which is now drained via a managed drainage system. The Environment Agency, which is responsible for the network of pumping stations and sluices which carry surface water away from Burscough and out to sea via the pumping station at Crossens, plans to switch off five of the pumps in 2018. The Parish Council understands that plans are being developed for a locally funded body to be set up to manage the drainage network. Enquiries regarding the future of the pumps should in the first instance be directed to the Environment Agency. Burscough Parish Council remains concerned regarding the future of the drainage network, and continues to lobby for a good outcome.

Lancashire County Council is the “Lead Flood Authority” and takes the leading role in co-ordinating all agencies with responsibility for ensuring that our surface water drainage system is adequate.

United Utilities manage foul drainage and it is their responsibility to ensure that there is adequate capacity. The Parish Council is not aware of any significant investment planned for Burscough’s foul drainage network, despite recurrent surcharges of foul sewage onto our streets.

Burscough Parish Council has repeatedly voiced concerns that both surface water and foul networks are under-capacity, and that new development may exacerbate existing flooding and may cause further flooding.

Burscough Parish Council is delighted to work with Burscough Flood Group, an independent group of residents who have researched flooding in Burscough and who have compiled a comprehensive, evidence based register of incidents of flooding in Burscough. Burscough Parish Council have also commissioned drainage consultants, SCP, to provide their opinion of aspects of our drainage network.

Our thanks are extended particularly to Burscough Flood Group for their painstaking and thorough investigation providing a most comprehensive reference document, and we urge professionals across Lancashire to make use of this resource.

Also, the Champion carries the claim by WLBC  that it “refutes flood campaigner’s broken promises campaign”. The “campaigner” is Gavin Rattray, secretary of the voluntary Burscough Flooding Group, who is in almost continuous disagreement on how and why Burscough has continued to suffer from widespread sewer flooding in storms. It’s interesting that the Champion uses real evidence of the problem by using a picture taken by the Burscough Flooding Group. What’s that saying, “what can’t speak can’t lie”!

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