Criticism of March development's drainage proposals

Flooded site and surrounding area of the Berryfield development in March.

Flooded site and surrounding area of the Berryfield development, in March, which has permission to build up to 30 homes. - Credit: Supplied

Waterlogged and flooded – the site and surrounding area of where up to 30 homes are to be built in March.

Six years after planning permission was given for the homes on land east of Berryfield, final details of the application remain bogged down over drainage and disposal of waste water.

The development won consent providing conditions were satisfied for surface drainage and foul water.

Fenland District Council is reviewing those but the March Fifth District Drainage Commission at the Middle Level Commissioners remain dissatisfied.

One solution put forward by Fink Developments is a system to pump the water into nearby dykes, forcing rainwater into the area.


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The drainage commission is unimpressed and told Fenland planners that this is not likely to work during bad weather.

“The board is concerned that ultimately the district council’s ratepayers will have to contribute public money to resolve problems created by this proposal,” says the commission.

Flooded Berryfield site in March

Final details of the Berryfield development in March remain bogged down over drainage and disposal of waste water. These pictures of the site and surrounding area were taken over Christmas, following heavy rainfall. - Credit: Supplied

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While the Middle Level is not a statutory consultee on such applications, the letter explains its board had requested commissioners publicly share their concerns about the controversial development.

Previously the board said they had raised concerns at planning committees about this and other sites in the Elm Road/ Creek Road area.

The letter says: “You will recall from the previous correspondence and representation at planning committee meetings that the board has expressed significant concerns about both this and other sites in the Elm Road /Creek Road area."

It says Middle Level will continue to object to the application, unless a list of requirements is met.

These range from the preparation of a “regular maintenance programme” of the watercourse and surface water management system to “suitable channel improvement works” to “ensure its efficiency in the long term”.

Photographs show how the site and fields adjacent to the development site were flooded during the heavy rainfall in the lead up to Christmas.

Flooded Berryfield site in March

These photographs show how the site and fields adjacent to the Berryfield development in March were flooded during the heavy rainfall in the lead up to Christmas. - Credit: Supplied

Since this newspaper reported the concerns of Fenland residents around flooding, readers have contacted us about issues ranging from poor drainage maintenance to blocked gullies.

Cambridgeshire County Council is now asking those who were affected with flooding over Christmas to share information ahead of a meeting of concerned parties next month.

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