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Chesterfield couple’s forty year wait for flooding help

Residents of a cul-de-sac on St. Augustines Road, in Chesterfield, are fed up with their homes being flooded.  They are from left, Kizzy Henman, Christy and Mark Stephenson, Sue Adams, Sylvia Henman and Malcolm and Janet Shaw.

Residents of a cul-de-sac on St. Augustines Road, in Chesterfield, are fed up with their homes being flooded. They are from left, Kizzy Henman, Christy and Mark Stephenson, Sue Adams, Sylvia Henman and Malcolm and Janet Shaw.

A retired couple are calling on the council to help them tackle their flooding problem once and for all – forty years after they first complained.

Malcolm and Janet Shaw, both 69, along with their neighbours on St Augustines , Chesterfield live in constant fear of heavy rain, which causes a surge of water to run downhill from Whitecotes Lane, pooling outside their homes.

At every downpour the pair – armed with sandbags and brooms – have to sweep the water away from their front door to avoid flooding.

“It is a real effort” said Janet. “We can do it now, but what about in the future? We won’t always have the energy to do this all the time. In the last four weeks, we have been out there four times.

“The other night, I lay awake worrying because of the rain. I was worrying it would flood again. It is horrible.”

The pair moved to the house forty years ago, and have been blighted by the problem ever since. But in recent years, the problem has got worse.

“It is the climate changing” added Janet. “It used to be once every few months, but now it is all the time.”

Janet and Malcolm are both registered disabled because of ill health, and struggle with the physical demands of keeping the water at bay.

But despite contacting Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council and Yorkshire water several times over the decades, nothing has been done.

Malcolm, said: “We constantly have to check the weather so we know what to expect. It seems like noone knows who can help us.”

The couple bought their council house in 1990, but some neighbouring houses are still council-run.

“One of the houses lay empty for seven years because of the flood damage” Malcolm added.

“Then about seven years ago, someone else was moved in. It is a real problem.”

Councillor Martin Stone, Chesterfield Borough Council’s assistant executive member for housing said: “We are aware of problems with flooding for residents in the St Augustine’s Road area.

“Although we are not directly responsible for flooding, our staff have carried out work in the cul-de-sac over several years to try and alleviate the problem and we supply sand bags to residents when there is a flood warning in the area.

“The council is also currently working with Yorkshire Water to set up a cross organisation working group to identify and tackle flooding issues facing the borough.”

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “We are aware of on-going flooding on St Augustines Road during periods of heavy rain.

“We are working closely with Derbyshire County Council and Chesterfield Borough Council to better understand the causes of the flooding in the area and to identify

opportunities to reduce flood risk.

“We will be carrying out a study of the drainage in the Chesterfield area over the next few years and we hope to combine this with studies being carried out by the local authorities.

Once we have a better understanding of the drainage in the area we will be able to work with the councils to identify any action that can be taken to reduce flood risk to try to secure funding in the future.”

 

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