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Reader’s letter: River flow altered by works

As a resident of Farndon Road who was flooded during January 4-5, I would like to make some significant points which require relevant authorities to take some action.

When the original north/western bypass was conceived I recall that extensive flood modelling and consultations took place with residents, resulting in revised flood predictions and even some defence walls around relevant properties.

Though not all these measures may have proved successful in the November 2000 record floods of the Trent, at least efforts were made in consultations over planning and construction.

Mr McKay's flooded garden on Farndon Road, Newark.
Mr McKay's flooded garden on Farndon Road, Newark.

Living close to the River Devon for over 40 years I have learned to understand, and to a certain extent predict its likely behaviour in different weather and seasons.

This year there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this has seen significant changes.

Yes, there was substantial rain and the climate change factor. However, there have also been the substantial and recent earthworks of the southern relief road together with significant new housing development.

The earthworks have clearly changed the natural flood plain behaviour significantly and the light brown colour of river flow indicates substantial earth and mud deposits from this work ( some now in my garden) which decreases the river depth downstream and at the junction with the Trent. Not to mention the increased run off from solid surfaces in new housing developments which probably create more dependence on the Devon for drainage.

During the recent flood I was able to witness the River Devon over topping the flood banks and flow at great speed past my back door, down my drive way and on to Farndon road where un-interrupted traffic could be seen sending 4foot waves up the side of my house and opting for the pavement.

Unlike the November 2000 flood, the Trent did not overtop its flood bank in this area. The trouble came from the Devon which was trying to take a short cut directly past my house to the marina and this has not happened previously.

I know other residents of Farndon Road have made similar observations to my own. However, In all of this, whilst we cope with flood repairs, unlike the construction of the north western bypass, I am unaware of any efforts by the various agencies involved in the southern relief road and building works to consult, explain or protect residents of Farndon Road from their serious meddling of the river flow either during or after construction.

Clearly there needs to be some serious and immediate conversations with these agencies about what has caused the problems and how solutions will be addressed. If this does not happen soon residents will be left with a fait accompli, impossible to reverse and after which areas and lives will be blighted long into the future. – A. MCKAY, Farndon Road, Newark.

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