Thursday, 28 January 2021

750 sign petition to stop pipe

ALMOST half of Shiplake’s population has now signed a petition calling for a bigger say on a housing development which they fear will worsen flooding.

More than 750 of almost 2,000 residents are urging South Oxfordshire District Council to formally consult on Taylor Wimpey’s drainage proposals for 95 homes at the former Thames Farm, off Reading Road.

The developer has outline planning permission but can no longer follow its original plan to drain surface water into the ground because the site is prone to developing sink holes.

Instead it wants to channel it along a new pipe running under the village and out at the other side into Lash Brook, a backwater of the River Thames off Mill Road.

Residents fear this could exacerbate a flooding problem in which homes have been evacuated, most recently in 2013 and 2014.

The district council requested a flood risk assessment after receiving more than 100 complaints and will give the community two more weeks to respond once this is received.

But petition organiser Peter Boros, of Reading Road, argues that the scheme is so different that a fresh application should be required, which would give the community at least 28 days to comment.

The district council says it doesn’t usually allow comment on “reserved matters” but made an exception and published all the objections.

Taylor Wimpey says it will submit the flood assessment soon but is confident there is no flood risk.

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