Call for Sutton Benger flood action group
7:00am Friday 24th January 2014 in By Julie Armstrong, Senior reporter
A Sutton Benger resident told the parish council it was not an option to do nothing about the flooding that has plagued his home three times since November.
David Wynne-Davies, speaking at a meeting last Wednesday, said since he moved to Seagry Road 13 years ago he had been hit by flooding eight times.
He said: “It has happened so many times now, it has become something routine, not exceptional. We’ve got to look at the root cause. The infrastructure in Sutton Benger is extremely weak.”
And he said the situation could only get worse with 63 homes already built and 21 new houses under construction by developers Redrow.
He was hopeful a solution could be found with some political will and pressure.
“Redrow has a duty of care and they can’t sell a property that someone can’t get into,” he said. “They have a good record in Malmesbury so there is hope.”
But he told councillors that residents were sceptical they would help.
“With the exception of one visit, no one from the parish council has been down to see us,” he said. “Residents expressed concern in the autumn and have not had any positive feedback from you. This is a priority for us.
“Doing nothing is not an option. We need a flood action group like Dauntsey’s.”
He was told by the parish council that solutions were going to happen at county council level.
Parish councillor Emma Pope said he should form an action group himself and keep them updated on progress.
Mrs Pope said: “We are obviously aware that flooding is an issue. You may have an expectation that we go to people’s houses.
“We don’t necessarily need to do that. We are home owners as well. We can fully understand what it must be like to have that happen.
“We drive along Seagry Road, we can see the water. We can see on Facebook. The fact a councillor hasn’t knocked on your door isn’t a lack of interest.
“One of the ways we can make our voice heard is by responding to planning applications. We obviously made flooding one of our concerns about that Hazelwood site [Redrow development just off the High Street].”
Balfour Beatty were last week digging out a collapsed Victorian drain in High Street, and Mr Wynne-Davies said the street was connected to Seagry Road and could not be looked at in isolation.
He said flood water was largely caused by Seagry Brook, aggravated by lack of maintenance of the brook by landowners, and hedgerows needed to be demolished and a culvert put in.
Parish councillor Here-ward Parry-Jones said he had arranged to meet the head highways engineer at Wilt-shire Council to walk around Seagry Road and other affected sites at Sutton Lane and the back of Lee Crescent.
Redrow is due to meet Wiltshire councillor Howard Greenman on January 29.