Monday, 17 February 2020

Villagers fed up with flood problem

RESIDENTS of Peppard say flooding is affecting their lives and is a potential safety risk to children and pets.

They claim a drain in Church Lane, near the village primary school, becomes blocked almost every time it rains and that the rising water then spills into the street, flooding driveways and eroding the tarmac.

If the water is high they say it can also flow into the gardens of their properties and kill the grass.

The residents have not been able to identify the cause but suspect pine needles and mud could be responsible for the blockage.

Victoria Cooper, 41, who has lived in the street for eight years with her husband and children, said the water level is sometimes so high that it almost floods their house.

She said: “Every time it rains I worry that the road is going to flood. I have no grass left in my garden. Sometimes I don’t let the dogs out because I don’t know whether it’s clean or dirty water. I’m concerned about their health.

“My children are always outdoors and at Christmas they got some lovely outdoor presents but they can’t play in their garden, which is unacceptable. When people drive fast through the water we’ve also seen it go over my neighbour’s hedge.

“I have contacted the district council every time these floods occur — maybe 50 times.”

Mrs Cooper said the flooding had eroded part of her driveway and now every time her husband left the house his van’s exhaust made contact with the tarmac. 

She has also used sandbags to try to protect her property.

Sharon Chamberlain, who has lived in the lane with her family for three years, said: “A lot of people do online shopping now so we get so many trucks, lorries and vans going up and down every day, carrying out deliveries. They just fly through the water and it makes so much mess. The drivers just don’t realise.

“No one wants to deal with the problem. I feel that when I call the council there is flooding in other parts of the county and we get the impression this isn’t a high priority.

“But when it’s affecting your life every day and it happens constantly and repeats again and again it’s a problem. There’s only so many times you can be put to the bottom of the list.

“We would like a drainage system that works. No one has ever come out and actually spoken to us as neighbours.

“We are very aware of flooding in other parts of the county, and their needs are greater, but we still have an issue here that has to be resolved. I’m fed up with having to drive through a flood to get home.”

A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, said: “An inspector has been out to investigate the problem.

“There is only one drain gully, which feeds into a soakaway, and this has to deal with all the water and debris.

“We are considering whether more gully cleaning would reduce the risk of ponding or whether the installation of additional drainage apparatus is required.”

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