On Flooding, Poo In Burscough, The Jacobs Report, And LCC

Apropo previous correspondence reported on WLR, pre-Christmas, Gavin Rattray, Secretary Burscough Flooding Group (BFG) is still hoping to see the Jacobs Report

He wrote to LCC “Thank you for responding to my email, let me start by saying that BFG as a group will continue to meet with any of the flood risk management authorities for the benefit of residents, therefore please can you arrange for us to meet with Jacobs in January 2020”? As fate would have it there has been some effluent flooding containing raw poo on the A59 that invaded the front path of a residence there.

The response “Dear Mr Rattray, Thank you for sending through your comments. I apologise that with the various office closures recently and other prior commitments, I shall not be able to complete a detailed response straight away. I aim to reply in full by the end of the week commencing Monday 13 January.

“Our consultants now have the initial responses from the Risk Management Authorities. As they will be working over the next few weeks on the matters raised, it will be impractical to organise for you to meet them ‘in January’ as you request. Once I have a clear plan of their next steps and can secure a reliable timescale for further engagement with the Burscough Flood Group, I’ll be happy to contact you to make appropriate arrangements. Yours sincerely, Rachel Crompton. Flood Risk Manager. Lancashire County Council”.

More flood evidence at bus stop on the A59

From Gavin Rattray “Dear Rachel, Thank you for the update. It is very unfortunate for Burscough residents that the timescale the LLFA and WLBC are working to means that the Jacobs report on Burscough, already believed to be nine months overdue, is currently being kept secret during the time when the second phase of the YTF development for 267 homes (2019/1182/ARM) is being decided by WLBC.

[2019/1182/ARM Approval of Reserved Matters – Erection of 267 dwellings including details of appearance, landscaping, layout and scale. Discharge of Condition Nos. 5, 8, 14, 16, 18, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 and 35 from outline planning permission 2015/0171/OUT].

More flood evidence on the A59

“As you may remember, from when you attended the 2012 local plan examination in public, the Yew Tree Farm development was phased, in order to: • Allow UU to monitor the effect of the development on the existing flooding problems in Burscough• Enable UU to achieve the necessary increase in its network capacity from investment commencing in 2015• Ensure that the investment stays ahead of the demand placed on it by YTF, Grove Farm and other developments.

“LCC and UU, together, went to great lengths to reassure the planning inspector during 2012 local plan examination in public that UU would resolve the sewer network capacity problems that plague Burscough. WLBC separately initially made promises to the public in letters, public meetings and in newspaper advertisements stating that Burscough’s problems would be solved during the local plan consultation and later that they would not made be worse. Subsequently UU failed to gain funding in 2015 and therefore nothing has been done, so the problems that were clear to the inspector in 2012 have inevitably grown since that time.

“Therefore it is crucial that the public and the planning committee have the most relevant up to date information on the flooding problems in Burscough before planning decisions are made which are likely to exacerbate the situation. Through WLBC not consulting UU for 2019/1182/ARM and through LCC withholding the Jacobs report and allowing the EA, UU and WLBC to do the same. LCC are leading a group which is keeping the best available flooding information from UU, Jacobs and elsewhere secret, making it impossible for the public to be engaged and the planning committee to have the correct information to make an informed decision that best serves the community.

“Are LCC going to make WLBC consult with UU over 2019/1182/ARM and publish it in the planning documents before it goes before the planning committee and in sufficient time for the public to comment?

“Are LCC going to publish the Jacob’s report in the planning documents for 2019/1182/ARM before it goes to the planning committee and in sufficient time for the public to comment? “Best regards Gavin Rattray – Secretary Burscough Flooding Group

104. As submitted, the Plan indicates that development of the site could not begin until at least 2020, due to constraints on capacity at the New Lane WWTW which are unlikely to be resolved before then. However, further work by the promoters of the site demonstrated that it would be possible both to discharge all surface water from the site to an existing watercourse, at greenfield run-off rate, and to remove a volume of surface water from the existing (combined) sewerage system greater than the foul flows from the new development.

105. UUW confirm that this would enable the anticipated delivery of some 150 houses on the site by 2020 to be achieved without overloading the sewerage system. The Environment Agency are also satisfied that this rate of delivery is acceptable. Thereafter, the anticipated delivery of about 350 dwellings (at a rate of about 50-55 dpa) over the rest of the Plan period would depend on funding from Ofwat for upgrading works at New Lane. Future development proposals would be an important factor in any decision on funding, and given the pattern of proposed site allocations in the Local Plan the evidence indicates that the prospects of UUW securing funding are good.”

121. Like Yew Tree Farm, sewage from Grove Farm would discharge to the New Lane treatment works. The prospective developer proposes to discharge all surface water to a local watercourse at greenfield run-off rate, and to divert a volume of existing surface water arising elsewhere away from the public sewerage system. UUW are satisfied that on this basis up to 170 houses could be built on the site in the period up to 2020 without overloading the system. From 2020 onwards, it is reasonable to assume that upgrading works will have been implemented at New Lane so as to enable the rest of the development to proceed (see paragraph 105 above). (Report On The Examination Into The West Lancashire Local Plan Report to WLBC Roger Clews Planning Inspector 26/09/2013).

Our informant writes “UU’s combined sewer surcharged onto our drive from the A59 last week (for the 2nd time) but this time leaving us with a substantially poo saturated gravel drive”.

On the subject of poo, we wonder if “The Book of Poo”

which is the definitive spotter’s guide, naming dozens of species of faeces and what they all mean, using science, medicine, and deadpan humour to get to the, um, bottom of things, should be available in LCC libraries? Or perhaps on the desk of the Flood Risk Manager. Lancashire County Council?

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