Burscough Baring Its Flooded Soul

Burscough Flooding Group (BFG) retains its almost full time campaign for Burscough not to be flooded by maintaining dialogue with those responsible for Burscough being flooded. A letter to the LCC Head of Highways is one example, which was caused by WLBC and LCC not recognising BFG as a “proper flooding group” even though it had the formal constitution required.

It’s worth remembering too that the First Tier Tribunal found the Burscough flood issues to be serious and complex, involving the interplay of surface watercourses, groundwater sources, and the sewer networks, all failing Burscough.

Gavin Rattray wrote

“Thank you for your letter to MP Rosie Cooper dated 21st May 2018, which I received today [7 January 2020] (see the scan following).

As LCC now knows, Burscough Flooding Group’s relationship with LCC has changed radically for the better since the appalling meeting LCC and UU had with the public at Briars Hall. BFG were extremely pleased with the recent constructive meeting with the LCC team, during which we were told that it will be followed up by LCC arranging further meetings with us, including one with BFG, LCC and Jacobs in which BFG will liaise with Jacobs. The liaison with Jacobs will be to inform them of our local knowledge of the flooding issues in Burscough.

“In response to the second paragraph of LCC’s letter. Burscough Parish Council made it clear to us that LCC did not want us to attend that meeting and that is why we weren’t invited by BPC. In the third and fourth paragraph, LCC very strongly implies we weren’t a flood action group.

“BFG have always been a flood action group; we have always had a constitution and we have always met the definitions of flood action group within https://nationalfloodforum.org.uk/working-together/communities/what-is-a-flood-action-group/. We are also a member of the national flood forum having joined it shortly after we were constituted in 2016; and finally LCC met BFG shortly after we were constituted (no doubt as part of its duty to meet flood action groups).

“In order for us to continue to have our new transparent and honest working relationship, it is necessary for BFG and LCC to let bygones be bygones. However, we would like to make it clear that the issue we had with LCC was brought about because of its refusal to incorporate the information residents, BFG and BPC had all gathered, into its S19 report following the 2015 Boxing Day flooding. BFG believe that decision set back the resolution of Burscough’s surface water flooding problems by at least two and 3/4 years.

“In addition, because the Environment Agency informed BFG in 2016 that the major cause of increased flooding in Burscough is development without sufficient investment in drainage. We know how vital documents such as the SFRA are in protecting areas like Burscough from surface water flooding and I urge LCC in its role as final approver of the SFRA to help Burscough by insisting that Burscough’s SFRA meets current best practice.

“For example, we know that LCC currently have no criteria against which it measures the quality of the SFRA and this allows WLBC to produce poor SFRAs with little specific details of problems. This enables developers to build without fully mitigating the flood risks and, given the inherent flooding problems here, it is no surprise that nearly every large development is known to have flooding problems which are contributing to the deeper downstream flooding problems in Orrel Lane, Crabtree Lane, New Lane and Martin Mere etc.

“For further information on LCC’s role in the SFRA, see the DEFRA document “Land use planning – Assessing the quality and influence of Strategic Flood Risk Assessments (SFRAs)”.


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