Houses in Ormesby were ‘built on site prone to flooding’

Stuart Calver in his flooded kitchen in Ormesby St Margaret. Several homes were badly flooded.Pictur

Stuart Calver in his flooded kitchen in Ormesby St Margaret. Several homes were badly flooded.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A family flooded out of their home in Ormesby following heavy rain last week have been told it may be two months before they can move back in.

Water pouring up from under the manhole cover outside homes on The Oaks in Ormesby St Margaret. Seve

Water pouring up from under the manhole cover outside homes on The Oaks in Ormesby St Margaret. Several homes were badly flooded.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Stuart Calver, who lives at The Oaks, went upstairs to get ready for work at 10.30am on Thursday, January 7, but when he returned downstairs he was met with a foot of sewage water.

'I was upstairs for maybe ten minutes,' said Mr Calver, who works as a retail manager. 'When I came back down half of the bottom floor was covered in water, and it was still coming up from the toilet.'

Mr Calver, 43, grabbed his two-year-old son Oliver from the front room where he was playing, and passed him upstairs to his mum.

'It all happened so quickly that we haven't been able to save the furniture or anything,' he said.

Mr Calver and his family have been staying at a hotel, arranged by their insurance company, their letting agent Bycroft and their landlady.

He said: 'On Tuesday we moved into a lodge at The Boathouse. Again this is being paid for via the insurance companies linked to our letting agent and we have been lucky that the owner of The Boathouse has agreed to help us out.

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'We have been told that it is going to take four weeks to dry the house out and it could be up to two months before we can get back into the house. We have not heard anything from Anglian Water since last Friday.

'We have been overwhelmed with the help of friends and family and also the support of the team at Bycroft lettings, Geoff Freeman at the parish council and the owner and team at The Boathouse.'

Geoff Freeman, Ormesby Parish Council chairman, said that flooding had been an ongoing problem in the village for many years, and that three properties in The Oaks had been affected in this latest round.

'It used to be that the lower part of the village would get flooded, because of surface water going into the pumping station which couldn't cope,' Mr Freeman said.

'Anglian Water installed a relief pumping station around 2010, after a long campaign by villagers, and although that helped the lower part of the village other parts still suffer.'

The Oaks housing development is built on the site of the old Royal Oak pub, which Mr Freeman said was prone to flooding before its closure. He said when the development was proposed it was originally refused by the borough council because of flooding concerns, but that it was approved on appeal after assurances were given that the infrastructure could cope.

Jonathan Childs, county councillor for East Flegg, added: 'The major issue is the foul water system. Anglian Water assure people all the time that their system can cope and there is nothing wrong. Well, tell that to Mr Calver's family, the second time in two years it's flooded with sewage and that is not acceptable.'

Anglian Water spokesperson, Nik Shelton, said: 'We know how unpleasant sewer flooding can be and we are sorry that some residents in The Oaks have experienced flooding.

'We responded to this incident as quickly as possible and our teams were on site helping with the clean-up. We will be checking all our pipes and equipment in the area to try and find out why this happened and we will stay on close contact with affected residents to keep them informed.'