Floods in Watton raise fears of effect of new homes

Flooding in Watton. Photo by Neal Trafankowski

Flooding in Watton. Photo by Neal Trafankowski - Credit: Archant

Fears have been raised that further housing developments in a market town could make it a flooding hotspot after sudden storms saw homeowners counting the cost.

Homes and streets across Watton and the surrounding area were under several inches of water on Thursday night as heavy rain hit.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service answered hundreds of 999 calls in the area, including pulling a trapped woman from a car, and helping families escape their homes.

Among the areas worst hit were a stretch of cottages in Ovington Road, between Saham Toney and Ovington, and the streets around Jubilee Road.

Stephen Webster, who lives in Ovington Road, said he saw 18 inches of water surge into his garden, and managed to contain it to three or four inches inside his house.


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'It was coming through the back garden from the fields and overflowing the sewer. It didn't take long for the whole garden to fill. We shut the doors and moved furniture but it came through.

'All the carpets and skirting boards are damaged. We've salvaged what we can but I'm basically going to have to start again. I've lived here five years and had the place how I wanted it so it's hard to have to do that,' he said.

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The flooding in Jubilee Road saw torrents of water streaming down the street.

It sparked calls from the What Watton Wants groups for a curb on new developments.

Jo Jacklin, group member, said the area's drainage system could not cope with current demand, let alone any increase.

'I have been on to Anglian Water and to Norfolk County Council to come out and look so they can see that the capacity is not enough.

'More homes means more concrete and roads and nowhere for the water to drain.

'There are people now in Jubilee Road who are worried they won't be able to sell their homes because of the risk of flooding and we need to recognise that it's a problem,' she said.

A further development of 80 homes on the former RAF Watton site was given approval on Monday at Breckland Council - see page 14 for more.

What do you think of further development in the town? Email bethany.whymark@archant.co.uk

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