Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Residents of flood-hit road want to lift homes

TWO residents of a flood-prone road in Wargrave want to raise their houses.

TWO residents of a flood-prone road in Wargrave want to raise their houses.

Nigel Abbott and Trish Watson, who live in Loddon Drive, have both submitted planning applications to Wokingham Borough Council.

Mr Abbott and his wife Catherine want to demolish their bungalow and replace it with a four-bedroom house which would be set back from the road and the River Loddon, which regularly bursts its banks after persistent rain.

There would be a new entrance on to the street.

The application says: “The proposal will replace a tired and outdated bungalow with a high-quality modern building.

“It will enhance its riverside setting while ensuring that the property is better able to deal with any flooding.”

Mrs Watson wants to replace her home with a new four-bedroom property which would be raised on stilts. Despite the additional height, the new building would be lower than the existing one as the pitched roof would be replaced by a flat one.

Wargrave Parish Council has recommended that both applications are approved.

Councillor Marion Pope spoke in favour of Mr Abbott’s application, saying : “They want to pull it down and build it more centrally on the plot because it does get flooded periodically.

“It’s then above the 100-year flood level and more in keeping with what the family wants. The new entrance is much better for sight lines.” Cllr Pope said Mrs Watson’s property was “beautiful” but that it wasn’t built high enough to allow water underneath.

Councillor Andrew Luckwell added: “They have changed the design but they’re keeping it on the same footprint.”

The borough council is expected to make a decision later this month.

Meanwhile, another Loddon Road resident has had his application to demolish his bungalow and replace it with a four-bedroom house on stilts approved.

Mark Bond, a music manager, made an application after being forced to leave his property in December 2013 when it was left under 2ft of water — the third time it had flooded in eight years. 

The parish council supported his application.

During the floods, other residents of Loddon Drive were forced to stay in their homes or use canoes after the road was completely submerged by floodwater.

In 2014, several businesses and homes in Wargrave were left underwater after the Loddon and River Thames burst their banks. 

A pensioner had to be rescued from his home in Loddon Drive, while Wargrave Boating Club and the offices of Val Wyatt Marine were both flooded.

Christine Hopcroft, who also lives in Loddon Drive, saw her garden submerged under 4ft of water and she and her partner Luke had to leave their their house for two days and stayed with a relative in Wargrave.

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