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Councils in dispute over cost of fixing blocked drain
Published 09/12/13

A LONG-RUNNING flooding problem in a Watlington car park has been caused by South Oxfordshire District Council blocking off a drain.

It could cost £12,000 to stop water gathering in one corner of the Hill Road car park and forming a “skating rink” near the telephone box.

The parish council, which took over responsibility for the car park from the district council in January 2007, asked a contractor to put a camera down the drains to try to find the cause of the problem. This showed that a trolley ramp, which had been installed by the district council years ago, was blocking the drain.

Councillor Barry Adby, chairman of the parish council’s operations committee, said: “Obviously, had we been aware of what we know now, we wouldn’t have taken on the car park until it was sorted. It is not going to be cheap to solve it.”

The parish council has been told that stopping the flooding will require running the end of the drain into a soakaway or re-routing the drain to reverse the water flow.

It has been quoted £12,500 for installing a soakaway but the district council has refused to contribute towards the cost.

Cllr Adby said the parish council’s main concern was the safety of car park users in cold weather.

“It is bad when it is frosty because it can become like a skating rink, which is a safety hazard,” he said.

“We have got a contingency plan where we put a certain amount of money in each year for things like resurfacing so the money becomes available. We are currently trying to get a map of the drains and where the electricity goes and once we have that then we will go back to the drain people to see what the best solution is.”

A spokeswoman for the district council said: “In January 2007 Hill Road car park passed to Watlington Parish Council and it is responsible for its operation, including repairs and maintenance.

“We have not been made aware of any issues relating to flooding in this area. However, we are happy to provide advice if they require it.”

Published 09/12/13

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