House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'

PUBLISHED: 15:09 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 21 February 2019

House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.

House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.

Archant

A house in Benwick is constantly having puddles of water flood into the front room when it rains despite council surveyors blaming it on "damp".

House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.

Dr Claire Slade, who lives at the five-bed house in High Street, has to put piles of towels under window to stop the water from getting further into the property whenever there is a downpour.

Claire, who is a chiropractor, contacted Cambridgeshire County Council in hope that they could even out level out the footpath or fit a drainage system similar to what houses opposite have.

However, after assessing the situation, surveyors say that the property has an “inherent damp problem that is not being contributed to by the camber on the footpath”.

The ongoing saga has meant that the 45-year-old has had to put her plans for decorating the room on hold – not even being able to put a carpet down.

House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.

Claire explained: “We wanted the pavement levelled out to stop water from coming in.

“On the other side of the road they have a drainage system between the houses and the pavement, but we haven’t.

“The pavement slopes towards the property; if you put a spirit level on the road then you can clearly see that it is uneven.

“We contacted the council and put a claim in and they came out to have a look but highways said they could not see a problem.”

House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.

In a letter from claims handlers at Cambridgeshire County Council, they state that despite nothing “prominent camber” in the road, there is “no casual link between the footpath and the issues being experiences”.

Kian Derakhshan, insurance claim handler, wrote: “Due to the nature of the construction is suffers and inherent damp problem.

“The surveyor notes that a section of the pathway does have a prominent camber.

“However, this camber is derived from a section of dropped kerbing at the roadside and the camber that is displayed lies in favour of the property, sloping down towards the main highway.

House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.

“There appears to be no casual link between the footpath and the issues being experienced.”

Claire, who has lived at the five-bed house for just over two years with her husband and daughter, said she didn’t notice the problem start until after they had bought the property/

No previous surveys showed damp problems.

She added: “We are going out to appeal against this and get our own experts involved.

House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.House in Benwick has rain water flood front room but council insist it is a problem with 'damp'. Picture: CLAIRE SLADE.

“How can they [the council] explain the water coming in from the road?

“We haven’t been able to redecorate that room and luckily there is no carpet or flooring down, we couldn’t do that because it would get damaged.

“It is frustrating that we have had to leave that part of the house redundant.”

Cambridgeshire County Council said that they were aware of the claim and have detailed their position in a letter to Claire following the surveyors report.

“We have explained the reasons why the highway isn’t the cause of the damage,” a spokesperson said.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to go into details on individual cases.”

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