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Hemsby new homes flooding fears

PUBLISHED: 11:27 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 30 June 2010

A COUPLE whose back garden is next to the site of a planned housing development have spoken of their flooding fears.

When Arthur Buchan, 73, bought the land to build his bungalow on Common Road in Hemsby there was barely another property in sight.

A COUPLE whose back garden is next to the site of a planned housing development have spoken of their flooding fears.

When Arthur Buchan, 73, bought the land to build his bungalow on Common Road in Hemsby there was barely another property in sight.

Now, more than 40 years and many new neighbours later, Mr Buchan and wife Ann, 68, worry that the 49 planned homes will lead to sewage and surface water problems.

Mr Buchan said: “Since 1992 we've had five major floods, and properties have been built here with no accounting for the flooding risk.”

Among his concerns are the proposals to raise the land of the site, which he feels could lead to surface water flooding the lower neighbouring homes.

He is also worried plans to deal with sewage from the site, currently being looked at by the Environment Agency, will not do enough to expand the capacity of the surrounding sewers.

“With nearly 50 new properties feeding into the sewage system there's a risk - if the right sewage works are not put in place - that people won't be able to flush their toilets when it rains.”

Mr Buchan formed the Residents' Association of West Hemsby, which includes some of his neighbours, after the Norfolk Homes' development was given approval in 2006.

In an effort to ensure he and his residents had as much input as possible into the plans, which had further details approved at a council meeting in December, he also submitted a petition with more than 30 signatures voicing local concern.

“When I try to find out what is going on I feel like I just keep getting passed around - everyone is trying to pass the buck. I just think that we should have been more consulted over this process”.

Development land manager at Norfolk Homes Terry Harper said that the raising of the site levels was to allow a gravity flow of sewage, something that Anglian Water preferred to a pumping station. He said he saw “no likelihood” of surface water running on to surrounding properties, as much of it would be drained away with pipes.

He added: “Our first aim before thinking about building houses was what could we do to assist and hopefully cure this, beyond the necessities of developing the site itself.”

Mr Harper added that Anglian Water had accepted there was the local capacity for sewage, and their sewage plan would include a replacement of the “ineffective” system on Common Road.


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