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'I can't even drive down the road' - Residents 'landlocked' by flooded lane

Richard Woods in Broad Fen Lane in Dilham, several days after it last rained. Picture: Richard Woods

Richard Woods in Broad Fen Lane in Dilham, several days after it last rained. Picture: Richard Woods

Archant

The old saying goes that an Englishman's home is his castle, but not everyone wants a moat a stone's throw from their front door.

Unfortunately that's what Richard Woods has got every time it rains outside his home in Broad Fen Lane in Dilham.

Mr Woods, 57, is fed up with the situation, which has been going on since last October.

He said: "If it rains for a couple of days we aren't able to get out. I've lived here for seven years and it's never been like this before.

"At Christmas we were basically landlocked - you couldn't get out by car and had to walk along the top of the bank."

Richard Woods in Broad Fen Lane in Dilham, several days after it last rained. Picture: Richard WoodsRichard Woods in Broad Fen Lane in Dilham, several days after it last rained. Picture: Richard Woods

Mr Woods said the problem was that rainwater, and water used on the field to the north of the lane, accumulated in the carriageway because there were no channels to let it pass through to the meadow to the south of the lane.

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From there, the water should be able to drain into the nearby North Walsham and Dilham Canal. Channels to the 'south' meadow have been dug out in the past, but covered over again, leaving the water nowhere to go.

Mr Woods said a significant rainfall left a stretch of the cul-de-sac road a couple of hundred metres long submerged in inches-deep water and it was dangerous, if not impossible to drive a vehicle down it.

Broad Fen Lane in Dilham inundated after rain. Picture: Richard WoodsBroad Fen Lane in Dilham inundated after rain. Picture: Richard Woods

He called on Norfolk County Council to create a permanent drainage system to prevent himself and his neighbours from getting cut off.

He said: "It's such an easy fix, why can't they just do it?

"I pay my council tax and my car tax, for what? I can't even drive my car down the road."

Mr Woods said a farmer has laid a private road connecting the other end of the lane to the road network, but he was reluctant to use it because it was not a public highway.

Richard Woods's grandaughter in Broad Fen Lane in Dilham, in front of the flooded road. Picture: Richard WoodsRichard Woods's grandaughter in Broad Fen Lane in Dilham, in front of the flooded road. Picture: Richard Woods

A council spokesperson said recent months of heavy rain had brought surface water issues across the highway network, and saturated land was adding to the issue.

He said: "We have been working with the local farmer to help alleviate the flooding problem on Broad Fen Lane and we recently pumped away flood water to help improve the situation. We are happy to reassess the situation and discuss the matter again with the land owner to see what drainage improvements can be made."

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