“We were right” about new development, say flooded Derbyshire families
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Up to 40 homes on Windermere Road, Clay Cross, were inundated when Press Brook in Clay Cross breached on Friday morning.
The brook lies between them and a new housing estate built on a flood plain beside Clay Lane – which began construction two years ago.
When plans for 34 new homes were submitted by builders Woodall Homes Windermere Road residents bombarded North East Derbyshire District Council with objections.
Derbyshire County Council commissioned a report stating the chance of flooding exceeding recorded levels at the time was “one in 100” years.
However by Friday morning the entire street was underwater, with residents saying they had warned both the district and county councils the flood plain should not be built on.
Prior to Friday Windermere Road had not flooded since 1982 – after which it was widened.
Flood water in the ground floor of Richard Eden’s ground floor reached five feet on Friday.
He is currently staying at a hotel with his family – including his 18-year-old daughter Emily who was diagnosed with terminal cancer four weeks ago.
The teen has was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease which spread to her adrenal gland, lungs and liver four weeks ago.
Dad Richard says Emily’s wish was to remain at home in her “comfort zone” and not in a hospice.
The teen, who doesn’t have long to live, was being treated in a hospital bed at home but is now unlikely to return there.
Richard, 58, said: “What’s upset me the most is she’s not gonna be able to be in her own home and she’s going to die somewhere where...I don’t know.
"We’re destroyed, we’re absolutely destroyed.”
Mark Allen, 53, was left wading through 18 inches of water on the ground floor of his home after rushing home on Friday following a call from his wife.
Water from the brook initially breached a neighbour’s garden which sits at a higher level before flooding the road and running down into the rest of the street.
He estimates the damage to his and his neighbours’ homes will run into several millions.
In October 2021 a survey commissioned by the county council put peak flood levels from the brook at 1.156m, adding there was a “one in a 100 year” chance of it reaching 122.341m.
However Mark claims he later submitted photos and video showing peak flood depths at 100ml higher than the “one in a 100 year” levels four times within two years.
Fuming Mark said: “We proved the survey was not worth the paper it was written on – we proved it goes higher than what they said a one-in-100 episode would be.
"They eventually admitted the survey was wrong but it was too late and permission had already been granted.
"I would like, personally, to take out a private prosecution on everyone who gave permission when we’d proved this was going to happen.
"I am so angry – this is the fault of the planning authorities.”
Tupton councillor Ross Shipman described how in September 2021 he put a motion forward to have the case sent back to the planning committee with the potential of revoking permission.
However the motion was ultimately denied.
Speaking to Derbyshire Times on Friday, he said: “Really the local authorities, the county council for never submitting objections and the district council for never revisiting that decision once they did get new information from the county council, they both need to hang their heads in shame.”
A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson acknowledged there had been historic flooding on Windermere Road.
They added: "The causes of the flooding on Windermere Road will be looked into in our role as the Flood Authority and we will review all factors.”
The Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) (the statutory consultee for surface water drainage) did not object to the application when planning permission was originally granted in March 2021.
Also commenting on events at Windermere Road, North East Derbyshire District Council pointed out that Lead Local Flood Authority (Derbyshire County Council) “did not object to the application when planning permission was originally granted in March 2021”.
The spokesman added: “The district council did secure additional mitigation via an underground relief tank that slows the rate of discharge of water into the Brook.
"The council received independent legal advice from a planning barrister which confirmed in strong terms that the district council was not at fault in the way it had handled the application.
"Refusing planning permission on flood risk grounds was highly unlikely to be a defendable position, due to the original approval remaining in place and the revised scheme having no greater impact in this regard.
“A Council does have the ability to revoke a planning permission, however there is a strict legal process to follow and this includes consideration of the development against the development plan and any other material considerations.
"The site is allocated for development in the current local plan and the land that has been physically developed is not classified as being at a high risk of flooding.
"There is the right to object to an order seeking revocation and if an objection is received the Secretary of State is required to determine the case.
"Given the allocation of the site within the local plan there is significant doubt that a revocation would be successful.”