Debate

Flood risk concern: Crowd funded Wychcroft campaign gains support

CAMPAIGNING residents concerned about the risk of flooding in the Magdalen Lane area if a housing development is permitted at Wychcroft, are delighted that their appeal to ‘crowd fund’ an independent engineering consultant is gaining support with £500 being pledged towards the estimated £1,000 needed.

Wychcroft campaigners in 2013

Wychcroft campaigners in 2013 when the Birstall May housing development was first mooted

A Planning Application for permission to build 28 homes on Wychcroft, Magdalen Lane, Hedon was refused by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council in December 2015. However, the Applicant Mr. Peter Read of Birstall May Ltd has now lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate against East Riding Council’s refusal. (Information at the Planning Inspectorate website at reference: APP/E2001/W/16/3147471).

Residents who say that they were flooded out in the big flood of 2007 with the disruption to normal life lasting for up to a year, fear that building on Wychcroft will remove the natural flood plain increasing the flood risk to local residents.

Birstall May in their last planning application to the East Riding Council submitted a detailed flood alleviation scheme using a lagoon and swale system and said that it would be able to cope with flood waters higher than those which caused the disruption in 2007.

Margaret Murray, one of the residents leading the campaign group said that they dispute some of the information in the original planning application about flood levels in 2007. “Photographs taken at the time show how much water levels rose in 2007 and these levels have not been adequately reflected in the planning documentation,” said Mrs. Murray suggesting that this was a basic flaw in the planning application. “The Planning Application submitted includes a sophisticated flood alleviation plan which is claimed to avert the possibility of flooding caused by the development. This is what we dispute most strongly.”

The residents have launched a financial appeal to employ an independent engineering consultant to review the proposed flood alleviation scheme. “This crowd-funded appeal for around £1,000 has been successful in raising over half the amount in pledges,” said Mrs. Murray on Saturday (14th May 2016).

Nigel 4

Photo was taken by helicopter of the 2007 floods in Hedon – with thanks to Nigel.

A letter sent to local residents by the campaign group says:

“Many of us local residents remember vividly the drastic results of the heavy deluge in June 2007 which resulted in many homes being flooded with the consequential disruption to normal life lasting for up to a year afterwards. 28 homes, with their additional hard landscaping, will remove the valuable ‘flood plain’ which this field represents and create a severe impact on our flooding vulnerability for the entire future.

“It is now the intention of several residents to instruct an independent engineering Consultant, with no affiliation to this location, to review and check the drainage/ flood design for the site. To this end we are requesting individual pledges of funds, no matter how small, towards the cost of this independent engineer’s fees. An estimate has been verbally obtained for 1 – 2 days’ work at £400 per day plus VAT, and your pledge of funds towards this would be most appreciated.”

“If anyone wishes to confirm a pledge towards this total of £1,000, they can email wytchcroft@murray-bond.co.uk with the amount they are prepared to donate” continued Mrs. Murray.

At its meeting on 12th May 2016, Hedon Town Council reiterated its original opposition to the housing development scheme and that information was to be communicated to the Planning Inspectorate.

Note – Grounds for Hedon Town Council’s opposition to the original planning application listed as:

  • due to it leading to the loss of one of the town’s important green spaces,
  • the history of flooding at Wychcroft and the surrounding area,
  • new housing would increase that flood risk,
  • the existence of protected wildlife at Wychcroft,
  • the additional pressure that the development would place on parking in the town.

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