Community leaders and officials have stated they are currently working together to try and find a solution to a flooding issue in a Moorlands town. The floods, which have substantially increased during the recent downpours of rain, have been occurring at gardens of residential properties in The Birches in Cheadle.
Community leaders and officials have stated they are currently working together to try and find a solution to a flooding issue in a Moorlands town.
The floods, which have substantially increased during the recent downpours of rain, have been occurring at gardens of residential properties in The Birches in Cheadle.
Resident Miriam Birchall told the Times & Echo: “The flooding started some weeks ago. Ourselves and our neighbours have been totally stressed and devastated about the issue.
“We have had the town clerk Dave Mullington and councillor Liz Whitehouse helping and they have both been really supportive.
“We just want someone to own up for the stress and upset we have endured these past weeks and will continue until this is sorted.
“The floods do come and go, depending on the weather, but our (garden) boarders remain boggy.”
The Times & Echo contacted Cheadle Town Clerk Dave Mullington for an update on the issue. He said: “The flooding issues for residents in The Birches were reported some weeks ago, and representatives of Cheadle Town Council have been visiting those affected.
“The watercourse at the rear of these properties sits on adjacent land that is more elevated than the gardens.
“As a result of some sections of the watercourse being blocked, any significant rain produces surface water which naturally flows into the gardens.
“A number of gardens have been affected, and in some cases, water levels have threatened dwellings.
“As Clerk, I have been trying to co-ordinate a response to the situation by negotiating with landowners.
“The Staffordshire County Council Floods Team are a county wide resource and have been required to prioritise the worst affected areas in Staffordshire. At one point, the criteria for this prioritisation was five or more dwellings affected internally.
“I fully understand that resources are stretched at times like this, but this is little consolation to the residents whose land and gardens have been impacted by this.
“It is vitally important to maintain our drainage systems in Cheadle, and I will continue to push for this to be not only rectified, but regularly maintained thereafter.”
We also spoke to some Cheadle town councillors who are involved in trying to resolve the flooding issue.
Councillor Elizabeth Whitehouse said: “We’re currently working to try and find who is at fault here.
“The damage done to Miriam’s garden because of the flooding is very upsetting.
“I can tell that her garden is her pride and joy and to have it ruined through no fault of her own is really heartbreaking.
“We will continue to work on the case until the matter is resolved and continue to support Miriam and her family through this.”
Councillor Gary Bentley said: “I had a phone call from Miriam about this problem and went down with the Town Clerk Dave to have a look.
“We are all working together to get this resolved – through team work and our new clerk.”
On the hunt for who is responsible for this particular flooding issue, the Times & Echo contacted a number of organisations.
The Times & Echo contacted Staffordshire County Council who initially said the responsibility of this issue was with Severn Trent Water, so we contacted the water company who responded with: “Severn Trent deal with sewer flooding, it looks like this is either the Environment Agency or the council if they’re right (i.e. water course being blocked).”
The Times & Echo then contacted the Environment Agency and a representative told us: “Looking at a map of Cheadle, this issue is not near any main watercourse, I think it’s a district council matter.
“We do deal with flooding from rivers but the district council deal with surface water flooding. We would support them with such issues but not lead on it.”
And so we then contacted Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) with their representative coming back and stating: “I’ve checked with district colleagues and they advise that, as the town council said, whilst it’s the landowners responsibility Staffordshire County Council’s flood risk management team provides advice.”
And so we went back to the county council which then sent this response attributed to David Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport. He said: “The severe weather conditions we have experienced over the last few weeks have led to a significant number of flooding incidents around the county which are having to be prioritised.
“We are aware of a number of issues of flooding at the location (at The Birches in Cheadle) including an obstructed culvert which is due to be repaired by Severn Trent Water in April.
“Our engineers are also investigating a blocked drain on school grounds near to the coach park.
“Once the extent of the problem is known, any repairs will be scheduled in as appropriate.”
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