10:55 am March 12, 2022
Families whose homes suffered from flash flooding criticized plans to improve drainage in the area, saying they did not go far enough.
Properties in Spinks Lane, Wymondham were among those flooded during the torrential rains that hit the area on Christmas Eve 2020.
Residents say the flooding could have been avoided if developers building new homes on the lane had better measures in place to allow rainwater to drain away.
The developers have now implemented a retrospective planning application to relocate drainage ditches, a lagoon to store water on a property, and water reservoirs to reduce water entering the ground.
Francesca and Andy Broom, who live close to the development, told a South Norfolk development committee that drainage measures were included in plans for the first house in 2015 but were never put in place.
Ms Broom told the committee when SNC approved the sixth house in 2019, the drainage plan was still not in place, despite the measures prescribed in previous plans.
Then in December 2020, the couple’s home was submerged in rain. Ms Broom said the development land had previously acted as a “sponge”. Despite this, SNC refused to enforce the drainage conditions in the 2015 plan.
“We were amazed that the developers then asked for a retrospective drainage of the land – this is five years after they were first asked.”
The couple requested that the request be deferred.
They asked council to investigate whether the proponent’s proposed measures would go far enough and whether bigger pipes to carry water around the site were needed.
Wymondham Town ward member Tony Holden echoed their concerns, saying the developer had “recklessly ignored terms” which cannot be allowed to continue.
George Laws, the developer, said the plans would be better than what existed before, with more water storage and the local food authority has no concerns about the plans.
The committee was split on the issue, with Liberal Democrat Terry Laidlaw advocating for the request to be postponed so advisers could get more information on the suitability of the plan.
Conservative Lisa Neal disagreed, saying action was needed as soon as possible.
Councilors voted to postpone the plans – four votes to postpone to three to approve.
Angie and Mal Garwood, neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Broom, were relieved of the delay.
They said: “Today’s decision has helped restore our faith in the system.
“They listened to us and showed a sensible approach to trying to find a solution acceptable to all parties, not just trying to push something through to the detriment of existing owners in the area.”