A Hook Norton planning expert has rejected claims by a developer that their new estate was not affected by recent flooding.
Nigel Slade of Bourne Lane says pumps rushed to the controversial new homes estate, Bourne View, worked all day but the area was flooded again after heavy rain overnight on Monday. This week developers Taylor Wimpey conceded flooding had occurred and said they were negotiating new ways to install permanent anti-flood measures.
Mr Slade, a retired building control officer for West Oxfordshire District Council who has acted as a planning expert witness, said: “The new houses clearly would have been flooded if they hadn’t built a large soil bank. The water sitting there is a lake.
“That field used to be a lake in the winter. It is an enormous storage area and if it is prevented, it has to go somewhere else. In this case it has been sent down Sibford Road. I don’t think they have a design for proper drainage.
“Are they going to leave that bank there? It’s a crazy way of doing it – just sending water elsewhere. We will never know what is going to happen until the estate it is finished. But I can’t see the drainage design working.”
Mr Slade said the company had brought in big pumps after last week’s Banbury Guardian story was published. He says developers Taylor Wimpey – who had been given planning permission by Secretary of State Eric Pickles in spite of widespread opposition on grounds including flooding – had not calculated the flood risk at all.
Villagers are furious that the water, previously held in a pond on the site, is being diverted causing flood risk to other homes, in order to protect the new houses. Mr Slade said the water was being diverted down Sibford Road to Downend which was seriously flooded in 2007.
A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said this week: “Following the construction of the landscaping features along the site boundary and given that the site falls away from the adjacent field, ponding did unfortunately occur at our Bourne View development.
“We have a strategy proposed and are in negotiation to undertake permanent works to mitigate future ponding instances which will commence shortly. To protect against flooding re-occurring in the interim, we have put temporary measures in place to keep water levels down and we are monitoring this on a daily basis.”