To Mr Finlay from Gavin Rattray. Jonathan Finlay Committee Specialist, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, House of Commons.
“Thank you for your email. The additional information we have might be more than you ever want to read. Therefore, I attached files which hopefully will be of interest to the committee.
“There was John Crawford’s letter to West Lancashire Borough Council regarding their Strategic Flood Risk Assessments (SFRA). This is essential reading.
“John, who is fortunately very persistent, has been trying to get WLBC to update its SFRA for many years as it is not fit for purpose. Its main problems are that WLBC didn’t undertake a sequential test for its strategic development site at Yew Tree Farm and it doesn’t contain the detail of Burscough’s surface water flooding problems. This enables developers which produce their own site SFRA’s when required to, to ignore the surface water flood risks by instead referencing the WLBC SFRA for surface water flooding issues. They developers do of course include a caveat within their SFRA saying that they can’t be held responsible if WLBC’s SFRA is inaccurate. John Crawford is not a member of Burscough Flooding Group but we share important information on flooding.
“Another fundamental Burscough flooding issue is as follows: Burscough drains to the Alt Crossens network which is low lying land which is almost entirely dependent on drains and a pumping system. The Environment Agency has allowed the construction of a small weir across the Boathouse sluice, which is Burscough’s main drain, without any documentation or consultation. The weir was put in place by the Martin Mere wetland centre and has since contributed to the flooding of valuable grade 1 farmland, nearby dwellings, Martin Mere’s own buildings and is continuously inhibiting the flow of water from the urban area contributing to flooding.
“It is hard to fathom why the EA do not get involved and bring their design expertise to ensure that Martin Mere manages its water to meet its very important needs; without its weir contributing to so much regular flooding and economic damage. The EA has partially withdrawn from much of the maintenance of the Alt Crossens network and from enforcement of maintenance by riparian owners adding to the flooding problems outlined above.
“I appreciate your offer of help and any influence the committee bring to a reduction in Burscough’s flooding problems would be greatly appreciated. However, I know that may be impracticable. If you wish to know anything more, want to see evidence or wish to speak to BFG then please get in touch and we will help in any way we can.
“Gavin Rattray – Secretary Burscough Flooding Group”.