Flooding, Sewage, And No Community Rights

Tonight, at 7pm, on the day that WLBC proved it doesn’t know what day of the week it is, a planning decision will be made that betrays the entire Labour controlled community of Burscough.

The (No party whipping allowed) Labour dominated planning committee will support a proposal from a Planning Officer that states “Site Of Former Yew Tree Farm Liverpool Road South Burscough Lancashire. Approval of Reserved Matters – Phased development of 267 dwellings, Burscough West, Recommendation: Approve with conditions”.

Never mind that Burscough Flood Group has stated “Adding proposed homes from Phase 2 will significantly add to the existing foul water flooding problems in Burscough. Foul effluent is regularly seen on the streets in Burscough during heavy rainfall. The phase 2 planning application doesn’t provide the necessary additional foul network capacity to prevent foul flooding” and much more”.

Or that Burscough Town Council has objected to the application, stating, “The Jacobs Report was received at County Council November 2019 followed shortly by this application in December 2019. This proposal is possibly the largest housing development in Burscough and the information contained in the report is vital for consideration of this application. The current Strategic Flood Risk Assessment is considered to be flawed at inception, due to lack of and inaccurate detail, and to be out of date, being ten years old now without a review.

“A new Local Plan Review has been promised which will have to produce a new SFRA. That will not be in time for this application; During the consultation period for the current Local Plan residents were promised that improvements would follow. That hasn’t happened. If anything in certain areas the opposite has happened. e.g.:- a) Sewer surcharging on Liverpool Road South has increased and no improvements have been made to UU infrastructure. The surcharging results in contaminated sewage flooding”.

And a local resident, stating “Lack of, or the inadequacy of the drainage infrastructure; The Authorities and other Bodies have a duty to ensure the drainage system is “fit for purpose” and is sufficiently robust to deal with capacity issues now and for the future – Concern that drainage Authorities, have inadequate knowledge about the watercourses and culverts in West Lancashire to understand how the whole of the system works; Crabtree Lane has suffered 4 serious flooding events since December 2015, and contaminated foul water has been known to overflow the sewage pipe close to Orrell Lane; How is it possible to say the drainage systems already put in place, are in fact safe, and without fault”.

And there is so much more. But the income for LCC, WLBC, and UU from new housing, especially council tax, will dominate the proceedings. Fit for purpose will not be an issue, just the filthy lucre. To summarise the situation, Burscough Flooding Group recently suggested “Although it seems totally inappropriate to delegate decisions to predetermined bodies with vested financial interests, BFG believe this method of decision making has now become WLBC’s normal operating procedure and this sort of thing could have been going on indefinitely. Perhaps, it is suggested, this approach explains why BFG’s input to planning applications has not been considered and why so many sites that have come forward in Burscough now cause flooding”.

Not knowing what day of the week it is won’t deter officers from this decision. But the betrayal will always be remembered.

Update. The item was withdrawn for consideration of a problem with it that officers were having to resolve. For consideration in June.

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