Saturday, July 14, 2012
below is a letter from a W J Jukes that was printed in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, July 9.
“As an architect, I was involved in planning many hundreds of houses (report June 29). The local planning authorities were obliged to consult the then Rivers Authority for the area concerned.
“The oft-repeated comment made by the planners was: ‘Yes, we have to consult, but we don’t have to listen’. As a result developers built housing estates on floodplain land. With more floodplain land built on, homes are being flooded, instead of water meadows being irrigated – which is what the land should be used for.
“Home owners who can’t get house insurance ought to consider issuing writs for malpractice against their local planning authorities.”
The Humphries Park Residents’ Association came across this same “We don’t have to listen” attitude in opposing the number of homes being crammed into the Hillcrest site. It had moderate success in getting the number reduced. Shortly after getting his foot in the door, the developer applied to cut down many of the trees. This, thank goodness, was refused. As Withycombe Brook runs alongside that site there is now growing concern about another 52 dwellings being contemplated in the Valley Parks area further downstream.
Flooding and blockages along St John’s invariably follows heavy rain.
Last week’s prolonged heavy rain turned the brook into raging torrent with severe flooding evidenced in at least two places. Two houses backing on to it, just after passing under Brabham Lane, lost a substantial part of their back gardens through subsidence caused by the heavy water flow.
There was also flooding adjacent to Lyndhurst Road, Park Road and Phear Park, causing traffic to be diverted.
Is it not crazy that planners are given licence to go their own way in spite of expert advice from various bodies and anxious concern from local residents? Will the planners now pay serious attention, and even modify current intentions alongside this watercourse? If uncontrolled in such a way, they will surely sow the seeds of misery for very many people in years to come and probably long after they will have left the scene.
6 Humphries Park