Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Glebe Road flooding halts developers

The decision to build houses on Windy Ridge, Market Harborough, was always controversial, not least because the site can be seen from such a distance.

Harborough District Council did its best to resist this development, but the Planning Inspectorate eventually gave permission. Its report cannot be downloaded from the council website (despite what that page says), but if I recall it rightly it said something along these lines: No, it is not a good site to build houses on, but you haven't granted permission for enough houses to be built in the district, so we are going to allow building here to punish you for not meeting your centrally imposed target.

For the past couple of weeks there has been earth-moving equipment on the site as development begins. However, today came this news (from the Harborough Mail):
Builders have been ordered to down tools at a housing development in Harborough after flooding to nearby homes. 
People living in Glebe Road found themselves facing a heavy flow of muddy water on Sunday after the weekend’s rainfall. 
One home was left without power while sandbags delivered by Harborough District and Leicestershire County councils were used to prevent the water from further flooding houses. 
Angry homeowners turned on developers Redrow Homes, whose work on the Windy Ridge site next door they blame for causing the flood. 
Harborough District Council announced today (Wednesday) that it will be serving a temporary stop notice on contractors working on the development.
The report tellingly quotes the Environment Agency:
"We were, and remain, not satisfied that the surface water drainage proposals adequately address flood risk on and off site, in particular on Glebe Road. 
"Residents have also advised us that there are existing drainage problems in this area and they are concerned the development proposals would exacerbate them."
And, of course, the legend that is Harborough Lib Dems group leader Phil Knowles has been on site.

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