Tuesday, February 12, 2013
A couple whose garden has been submerged under water for almost a year have been told councillors will not consider a flood investigation report until June.
Derek and Pam Green said they only started experiencing problems at their home of 42 years in Lynn Hill, Dereham, when a new housing estate was built behind them.
They said water first appeared during heavy rain last March, and apart from a brief spell over the summer has remained ever since, killing their plants and leaving them worried they will have to replace their shed.
Mrs Green, 66, said they got stuck in a bureaucratic quagmire when Dereham Town Council, Breckland Council, Anglian Water and developers Taylor Wimpey all said it was not their problem.
The couple were given hope of a solution when Norfolk County Council said in December it would use new powers it gained last year as lead local flood authority to draw up a flood investigation report.
However, it has now said its report will not go to the Environment, Transport and Development Overview and Scrutiny Panel until June 4.
Derek Green said: “It’s rather long winded. I don’t think they care. I have lived here 42 years and last year was the first time the garden has been like that.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous and I don’t know what they are playing at, to be honest.
“At the end of the day, no-one seems to want to take responsibility for what the problem is. No-one wants to know.
“It’s not my fault. I have 42 years to show it’s not my fault.”
Graham Brown, flood and water manager at Norfolk County Council, said: “The aim of the report is to provide a complete picture of the different roles and responsibilities in surface water management including any decisions that may have had implications for drainage in this area.
“We have already started work to assess the flood risk related to the Dereham Stream which will enable Norfolk County Council and relevant partner authorities to identify potential measures to reduce flood risk to residents and support applications for funding any mitigation measures.
“A benefit of these new powers is that those affected by flooding will no longer face being pushed from one organisation to another without their flooding problem finding a resolution.
“The flood investigation process is new and we are still finding our feet, but it should be much swifter in the future.”