Residents angry after council calls off town drainage works

Flooding in Corbett Road, North Walsham, after about 35 minutes of heavy rain in June 2016. Picture:

Flooding in Corbett Road, North Walsham, after about 35 minutes of heavy rain in June 2016. Picture: Supplied by Barry Hester - Credit: Archant

Residents on an estate which floods after heavy rain have been left frustrated after the county council called off a scheme to fix the problem.

Residents of the Lynfield Road area of North Walsham, who are frustrated by a problem with flooding

Residents of the Lynfield Road area of North Walsham, who are frustrated by a problem with flooding there. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

Norfolk County Council tried to improve the drainage around North Walsham’s Hadfield Road and Lynfield Road - an area known as the Lynfield Estate - in September.

But the project was abandoned after workers found the water table was higher than expected, meaning they could not install two underground soakaways, which would have soaked up rain water to prevent flooding.

Eric Seward, county councillor for North Walsham East, said he was “profoundly disappointed” after residents received a notice from the council saying the works were “no longer viable”. He said the budget for the project was £154,000, of which just over £30,000 had already been spent.

Mr Seward said: “I thought we could actually get this piece of work done and provide reassurance for everyone. You cannot just walk away from this estate. Let’s ringfence the money, find another option and get the necessary improvements done. But it’s going to be fight.”

Flooding in a garden on Corbett Road, North Walsham, after about 35 minutes of heavy rain in June 20

Flooding in a garden on Corbett Road, North Walsham, after about 35 minutes of heavy rain in June 2016. Picture: Supplied by Barry Hester - Credit: Archant


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Trevor Cable, of nearby Corbett Road, said the area had flooded “eight or nine times” in the 21 years since he had lived there.

Mr Cable said: “They can’t abandon us residents, it’s just not good enough.

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“The system will take normal, steady rain, but as soon as you’ve got heavy rain for a few hours, because we’re in the lower part of town the water finds its way here, and that’s when we get flooding.”

Lynfield Road residents Kathryn and Carl Wiseman said they were also disappointed the work had stopped.

Flooding in Corbett Road, North Walsham, after about 35 minutes of heavy rain in June 2016. Picture:

Flooding in Corbett Road, North Walsham, after about 35 minutes of heavy rain in June 2016. Picture: Supplied by Barry Hester - Credit: Archant

Mrs Wiseman said: “The tone of [the council’s] letter was ‘oh well, we tried’. There was no alternative. The houses aren’t going to stop getting flooded. Ours flooded several years ago, you could see the water gradually creeping up the wall.”

Another resident and former town mayor, Barry Hester, said: “It’s an absolute nonsense. We’d been waiting three years for this work to happen – it was all approved then.”

A county council spokesman said that while the planned drainage scheme had to be stopped, they were “continuing work to find the best way to alleviate the surface water flooding issues in this area.”

The spokesman said: “We will be meeting with our contractors to decide the best way forward.”

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