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£2 million called for to tackle long-running flooding misery in Stafford

An action group is seeking government funding to tackle a long-running flooding problem in Stafford.

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Flooding is a common sight at Sandon Road in Stafford but nearly £2m is needed to help curb the problem

A section of Sandon Road near the town centre has regularly been deluged with water over recent years,flooding residents’ homes and affecting local businesses.

The latest torrents came during storms this week and last week as heavy rains brought floods to town centre areas including Greengate Street and Eastgate Street.

County and borough councillor Jonathan Price said it was unlikely last week’s town centre flooding could have been avoided – but residents and authorities are now working together to try and reduce the regular impact on the Sandon Road area.

A virtual meeting held at the end of July was attended by Stafford MP Theo Clarke as well as representatives from Staffordshire County Council, the Environment Agency and a member of Sandon Road Flood Action Group.

Minutes from the meeting stated: “With current knowledge Corporation Street culvert is higher than Sandon Road, causing water to back up and therefore conveyance to be severely hampered. During intense storm events, water is prevented from entering the brook due to lack of capacity.

“One solution proposed by the Environment Agency is to lower the bed at Corporation Street, therefore further encouraging flow through the catchment and increasing capacity for water.

“This scheme has been estimated at costing approximately £1.8 million. However, funding rules restrict the feasibility of this as the money must be applied for and granted from allocations and which at present are insufficient.

“In the short term, resilience and looking to keep the water from entering the properties is the most pragmatic and realistic way of providing a solution. Stopping flooding all together is not a realistic and reasonable expectation – at least in the short term.”

A new Facebook group has also been set up to discuss flooding issues in Stafford and provide support and advice.

Councillor Price, who chaired the virtual meeting and had to clear floodwater from his computing business in Eastgate Street last week, said: “It’s not just affected Sandon Road, it was all roads. But even with all the will in the world and the best flood defences it still would have happened.

“We know what we have got to do about Sandon Road and how much it is going to cost. The Environment Agency have £400,000 but need closer to £2m.

“We have got to try and persuade the Government to give us some additional money to get a solution. The Environment Agency are putting a case together and we have got to do some lobbying.”

Fellow borough councillor Marnie Philips said residents had shown fantastic support to one another in dealing with the latest deluge in the Sandon Road area.

She added: “Residents have been forgotten about and this is about doing something to try and make these people’s lives better.”

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