Flood fear after workmen fill drainage ditch with concrete

9:28am Friday 9th May 2014

By James Connell

WORKMEN have filled in a drainage ditch with a “bizarre” concrete base for a road sign which a councillor fears could cause future flooding.

Councillor David Harrison was aghast to find the ditch filled with a concrete block and earth near the entrance to St Peter’s Garden Centre, Norton, Worcester.

Cllr Harrison campaigned for flood defences for Sandford and Severn Stoke after February’s devastating floods so the last thing he expected was action that could make the flood situation even worse in Worcestershire.

However, a leader at Worcestershire County Council says the drainage situation at the spot will be closely monitored and pipes in the foundation will allow water to flow through.

Cllr Harrison, a Malvern Hills district councillor for Kempsey including Severn Stoke and Croome D’Abitot, and a former chairman of Kempsey Parish Council, could not believe his eyes when he saw the concrete foundations, an estimated 9ft by 6ft, in the middle of the deep ditch in Broomhall, at the Norton end of Kempsey.

He said: “I have never seen the council fill a ditch when they are trying to stop flooding. A ditch is for water. It’s not to fill with concrete.

“You couldn’t make it up.

It’s just too bizarre. With all the flooding problems they have just planted these posts in the middle of the ditch and filled it with concrete.

“I’m very concerned regarding flooding and lobbied successfully with others for the defences in Kempsey and chaired a recent flood meeting in Severn Stoke. Further along (Broomhall and into Norton Road) they have just pushed earth into the ditch.

Where is all the water to go from the cottages in Broomhall?

“It is interfering with the natural drainage.”

Cllr Harrison was involved in getting a better deal for constituents after the recent floods. He met farmers and neighbours and chaired a flood crisis meeting in Severn Stoke in March to encourage residents to pull together to get flood defences, as residents had done previously in neighbouring Kempsey.

John Smith, cabinet member for Highways from Worcestershire County Council, said: “Precautionary checks of these developer works took place in advance of construction.

“These works will be monitored and the size of the pipes upgraded by the developer if any problems occur."

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