Woman unable to leave home due to overflowing pond
- Credit: Noah Vickers
An overflowing pond that has cut an elderly resident off from her community has been repaired, but unhappiness lingers among residents over the neighbouring road's poor condition.
A road running along the southern edge of Dereham’s ancient and popular Neatherd Moor had been flooded for two weeks, and large amounts of standing water remain outside the homes that line it.
Peter Whitesides, 75, said his wife, who uses a mobility scooter, had been unable to leave their house because of the floodwater and potholes.
“How do you expect her to get her scooter through this? It’s her only means of getting out,” said Mr Whitesides, who has lived there for 50 years, and said he had never seen the flooding as bad as this month.
Town clerk Tony Needham said: “We’ve been working closely with councillor Alison Webb and councillor Philip Morton to monitor and resolve the problem.
“There has been a much higher than average rainfall for December and January.
“The pond is linked to the ditch network by a pipe which should prevent the water level in the pond getting too high.
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“This overflow pipe was operational before Christmas, when the desilting work was carried out, but appeared to have become blocked.”
Mr Needham said the pipe had been successfully unblocked on Wednesday morning and the water level in the pond is now expected to lower.
Mrs Webb said she had ensured sandbags were delivered to the most threatened properties and Breckland had been prepared to temporarily accommodate anyone flooded out.
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Responsibility for maintaining the road is complex, as it is understood to be part of the moor’s land - owned by the town council and managed by Breckland Council.
Mr Needham said that as the landowner, the town council is willing to look at upgrading and improving the track surface.
“The council would pay the cost of the wear and tear attributed to public use of the track as long as the properties with private rights contribute their share,” said Mr Needham.
“The council agreed to carry out a survey to understand the level of usage attributable to the public and private properties. This was agreed just before first lockdown, so it has not been possible to conduct the survey.
“As usage returns to normal, this could be progressed.”
Mr Needham added: “The town council carries out some remedial levelling of the track as needed.”