New ditch could ease flooding for many residents

Butt Avenue Flooding 2020

Rob Stevens' garden flooded in Butt Avenue in the Christmas 2020 floods. - Credit: Rob Stevens

Cambridgeshire County Council is in negotiations to buy land in March and dig a new ditch in an attempt to alleviate current flooding issues.

The council revealed the news when this newspaper asked for an update on the situation in Butt Avenue.

Residents in the area, which also includes Burrowmoor Road, Brewin Avenue and Birchwood Avenue, were affected by the 2014 and Christmas 2020 floods.

After the 2014 incident, council investigations found the drainage section of Birchwood Avenue and Butt Avenue had come to a dead end as residents had filled in a ditch.

Funding of £34,000 was allocated to the project and work began on reinstalling the ditch.

But when proposals for 24 homes for the former Kingswood Park Residential Home were submitted in November 2017, officers began talks with developers to collaborate on the issue.

Flooding in Butt Avenue

Rob Stevens' garage, office and garden flooded in 2014. His garden and garage flooded again at Christmas. - Credit: Rob Stevens

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesperson said: “After starting to make progress, the development was then put on hold. At that time, it was not obvious that the development would not restart, therefore no decision was made to immediately look for another solution.

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“However, in view of the time lapse we have recently agreed to start negotiating with the land owners to purchase the land so we can dig a new ditch and connect the existing pipes, this process is underway.

“Unfortunately, we cannot put a timescale on this work due to the negotiations needed, but we are fully committed to making improvements to assist with reducing future flooding.”

The news will come as a relief for residents, including Rob Stevens who lives in Burrowmoor Road.

Flooding in Butt Avenue at night

Cambridgeshire County Council has said it is in negotiations to buy land in order to build a ditch to alleviate flooding in the Butt Avenue area. - Credit: Rob Stevens

His garage and office flooded in 2014, and the garage flooded again at Christmas.

He said: “It’s really positive to see the council has acknowledged the problem and seem to be doing something about it.

“When we were flooded the first time, we knew this was a problem that could be resolved because of the ditch.

“In my mind, if residents don’t keep the pressure on, we will be back to the same situation we were in in 2014.”

He added: “I have to give credit to Councillor Jan French. When I called her about our flooding, she was out days later to have a look at the issue and is pushing for solutions.

“Like I said, we really need to keep the pressure on otherwise these problems will only continue.”