Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Christmas ruined for Wickford homeowner as building site floods
10:30am Saturday 29th December 2012 in News
HEAVY downpours have left one man battling to keep flood water at bay that is rushing towards his home from a nearby building site.
South Essex has been battered by exceptionally high rainfall over the past few days and flood water is just inches away from reaching Tony Kimmins’ home in Carlton Road, Wickford.
His Christmas was “ruined” after he spent December 25 and 26 mopping up the water that had overflowed from land off Downham Road.
Bloor Homes is building 68 homes on the site, which Mr Kimmins said looks more like a lake after this week’s showers.
He claims builders dug up the field just before Christmas and had been pumping water away from the site, but now they are off for the festive period the pumps are not being manned and the water levels are rising by the day.
He said: “The way this is going with all this rain is just ridiculous.
“I had to call the fire brigade out on Christmas Day and they tried to get the pump started, but they couldn’t - the water is about an inch away from the house now.
“I’ve had to go out and get rid of the water whenever I can. You can see the stream coming out from the lake that’s forming and it’s running straight down to the gardens.”
Mr Kimmins said homes in Downham Road and Delmar Gardens are also affected. He has tried without success to contact Bloor Homes about the problem, but no one is in the office until the New Year.
A Basildon Council spokesman said: “Before granting permission for the development, the applicants had to demonstrate the site would not create risks caused by flooding to future residents of the development or those living on neighbouring land.
“The planning application was accompanied by a number of technical documents, including a flood risk assessment, surface water drainage strategy and foul water strategy to ensure these issues were fully considered in consultation with the specialist bodies.
“The application also includes proposals for a new drainage system and additional measures that will deal with many of the issues raised by residents.”
Concerns about drainage were covered when the application went before Basildon Council’s planning committee in February.
A report stated the site “currently has no formal system of drains” and went into detail about a drainage strategy, which was put together in conjunction with Anglian Water and examined by the Environment Agency, the drainage authority.
It raised no objections.
Mr Kimmins said residents had given their views about the plans before they were given the go-ahead.
The report continued: “Residents have identified issues of surface water ponding on the existing green field site.
“From the research undertaken this primarily occurs because of the soil type, the flow of water from higher ground to the north and lack of an existing drainage network.”
The surface water drainage strategy for the site plans to retain surface water run off through a system of water retention and flow restriction.
Permeable block paving will also be laid over a specialist sub-base that provides voids for water retention and surface water storage, which is released at a slow rate into the main drainage network.
However, with the strategy not yet in place and the pumps at the site allegedly not working, residents could still be holding back the flood until January.
The Echo attempted to contact Bloor Homes, but no one was available for comment.