Friday, 20 July 2018

Council plans relief for Rotherfield Greys perma-puddle

PLANS are underway to install a new soakaway in Rotherfield Greys to ease regular flooding in the village, writes Sian

PLANS are underway to install a new soakaway in Rotherfield Greys to ease regular flooding in the village, writes Sian Gordon.

Residents have been appealing for drains to be cleared to avoid the large volumes that collect every time it rains.

Nicola Whittle has been demanding action almost since she and husband Rob moved into her terraced home in Greys Road near the Malsters Arms in 2005. The couple have spent thousands of pounds landscaping their front garden, which sits opposite fields that house land drains. When it rains, a huge puddle reaches halfway up the family’s driveway. Now Oxfordshire County Council says it has come up with a solution that does not require encroaching on farm land.Instead, a soakaway will be installed in the grass triangle that sits outside the village church.

Town and county councillor David Nimmo Smith said: “The county council is currently checking on the position of the water mains and arranging a soakage test for the construction of the new soakaway.

“If the investigations support their preferred solution they would look to move forward as soon as possible in the next financial year.”

Mrs Whittle, who works for the Environment Agency, said: “My immediate reaction was fantastic — it is absolutely brilliant that they are doing something, but my queries are when this will happen and will the soakaway be big enough to take the amount of water because it is a substantial amount.”

Peter Bland, landlord of the Maltsters Arms, said he was “delighted”.

“The green area is quite a distance from the area that floods but as far as I am concerned the thing at long last will be resolved, so we can only be pleased.”

Sue Fulford-Dobson, vice chairman of Rotherfield Greys Parish Council, said: “The next step is for Oxfordshire County Council to dig a test hole to see whether the ground is suitable.

“It is a problem, and that’s why we have done our best to ensure that a solution is found. We can only hope that the solution they have proposed is successful. It would be lovely if it was.”

Cllr Nimmo Smith said the soakaway would be a boon for drivers.

He said: “It will make driving round the corner safer and remove the distress currently being endured by the Maltsters Arms and adjacent residents in periods of heavy rain.

“All in all, things are looking good for this stretch of road.”

A spokesman for the county council confirmed that a new soakaway was being discussed.

He said: “We have instructed contractors to investigate the ground conditions with a view to installing the soakaway.”

- a porous concrete structure buried under ground that allows water to filter out into the ground - within the highway boundary outside the church.

“At this stage we need to wait for the results of the investigations to come back before we can say whether the soakaway is feasible, when it could be installed and what the cost may be.”


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