Express & Star

Bridgnorth couple flooded 26 times in seven years after new homes built on their street

A man has spoken of how his property has been flooded 26 times since 2016 after new homes were built on his street.

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Mr Evans' washed away driveway last year

As with scores of homes across Shropshire, Maurice Evans from Bridgnorth saw his garage and driveway flooded during Storm Babet at the weekend.

However, the retired electrician says his home floods around four times a year, every year, whenever there is heavy rain, following the construction of new homes on The Mall in Low Town.

While not deep, Mr Evans, 78, who lives in his bungalow with his wife, said the fast-flowing water washed away the tarmac of his drive and he was forced to spend £3,500 on a new drive last year. It also regularly seeps into their garage.

He says the issue has been caused by an overflow pipe, that was damaged when the new properties will built opposite Mr Evans' bungalow by builder Spellar Metcalfe.

Despite scores of complaints to Shropshire Council, and an attempted repair by Speller Metcalfe last year, the problem is still occurring.

He said: "It all started in 2016 when these new houses for Star Housing were built on The Mall. I love at the end of the cul-de-sac and there is a slope on it.

"When they built the house they put in this macerator pump as the homes could not be connected to the existing sewage system.

The problem is, when they put it in they damaged an overflow pipe, so now, when it rains the water comes back up through the storm drains and washes away my drive or floods my garage.

"It has been going on for years. I have been in touch with the Highways Agency, Severn Trent, Star Housing and Shropshire Council, and everybody said it was somebody else's liability."

He said after years of battling the relevant authorities, he finally got drainage engineers at Shropshire Council to admit the problem was theirs.

"After the council admitted liability, they asked Speller Metcalfe to carry out remedial repairs last year, but nobody checked that the work was done properly and solved the issue. It hasn't.

"Whenever we have heavy rain it pours down the street goes into the storm drain, down to overflow pipe, then comes back and up through storm drain and onto my property."

Speller Metcalfe declined to comment but Shropshire Council said that due to the location of Mr Evans' property there were "limited options" to rectify the drainage problems.

A spokesman said: "The soakaway is able to deal with the majority of storm events, but becomes overwhelmed during extreme rainfall events. Since becoming aware of this issue Shropshire Council’s highways teams have been on site on several occasions to maintain this soakaway. Our teams can clearly be seen on site if you view the Mall on Google StreetView."

However, he denied Shropshire Council was liable for the overflow pipe.

"Mr Evans has suggested that the issue is being caused by a damaged pipe associated with a new development adjacent to his property. Following this report Shropshire Council’s Drainage Team engaged the developer who had damaged this pipework. Following this engagement the developer admitted responsibility and then undertook remedial works to repair the damage.

"After further investigation this pipe was found to be an incoming connection to the highway soakaway and not an overflow pipe. This pipe is not a Shropshire Council asset and Shropshire Council has not accepted liability. Mr Evans is aware of this," he said.

He added: "Although Shropshire Council does not yet have reliable data for Storm Babet, the Bridgnorth area received 77mm of rainfall over a 48-hour period.

"This rainfall total exceeds national design standards and although Shropshire Council maintained the soakaway it was inevitable the system, as at many other locations, would have been overwhelmed and flooding will have occurred. The matter is under further investigation to determine how extra resilience can be achieved to mitigate the impact of future flooding events."