River Alt – Everything drains into around these parts

Following all the heavy rain of recent days it’s sadly no surprise that the River Alt is struggling to to deal with all the water flowing into it from the land and other drainage brooks, streams and ditches. In turn this means flood alerts for parts of Maghull as the river water rises.

The first shot below was taken yesterday from the aqueduct which takes the Leeds Liverpool Canal over the Alt near to Aintree Village:-

Just back towards Melling there’s a runoff for the canal to keep it’s levels down and I could see it was in use. I’m guessing that this runoff also goes, eventually, into the River Alt.

The second shot below was also taken yesterday where the A59 (Northway) crosses the Alt in Maghull:-

Then we move on to today and the consequential flooding of Sefton Lane/Bridges Lane on the Maghull/Sefton Village boundary. Here the Alt flows under Bridges Lane and this is how it looks:-

At face value the river looks to be coping until you move a little further east along Bridge Lane to where Dovers Brook is crossed by Bridges Ln/Sefton Ln. It looks like this:-

The first shot is looking north with the adjacent houses on Sefton Lane* clearly visible. The second shot looks like the Dovers Brook has been halted by a stone wall but in fact it’s the bridge under Sefton Ln where the arch of it has been covered by the floodwaters. The houses here are being affected as is sadly often the case when Dovers Brook backs up.

My understanding is that the Alt being so high stops Dovers Brook from emptying into it, hence the backing up. Although there’s nothing new about this problem (I recall Sefton Ln flooding here when I was a lad living on the Lane in the 1960’s /1970’s) it’s all the more frustrating that after many years the problem has not been resolved. You have to feel for the residents of this isolated row of houses and elsewhere along Dovers Brook when it over-tops.

With more rain anticipated tomorrow, well I don’t need to say any more do I………

*Sefton Ln/Bridges Ln has already been closed during the present foul weather although it was passable this afternoon. However, this is what it looked like in December 2015 when the section of road between Dovers Brook and the River Alt was a river in itself:-

A flooded Bridges Lane between Dovers Brook and the River Alt – when it all got too much in December 2015

Flooding and its causes – Lessons for Maghull & Lydiate and Sefton Borough generally?

July 2010 Seaforth Floods

July 2010 Seaforth Floods

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35199963

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

The Maghull area flooding pressure points

The Maghull area flooding pressure points

Maghull & Lydiate – Flooding hits on Boxing Day

Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane - The houses were about to be inundated.

Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane – The houses were about to be inundated.

Maghull & Lydiate have today been suffering from flooding following the torrential rain that has been hitting northern England recently.

The following photos document the scene across the joint communities between 11 am and noon today:-

Hall Lane, Maghull

Hall Lane, Maghull

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker clearing debris from Whinney Brook.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook. He told me the level had dropped by 3ft as he cleared it.

Lambshear Lane, Lydiate

Lambshear Lane, Lydiate

Moss Lane, Lydiate

Moss Lane, Lydiate

A swollen River Alt as it just about manages to duck under Bridges Lane near Sefton Village.

A swollen River Alt as it just about manages to duck under Bridges Lane near Sefton Village.

Sefton Lane, Maghull

Sefton Lane, Maghull

A raging Whinney Brook at Ormonde Drive, Maghull

A raging Whinney Brook at Ormonde Drive, Maghull

The worrying issue here is the capacity of the River Alt to take all the flood water from Whinney Brook, Dovers Brook etc. In 2012 it could not take all the water and houses were inundated in Fouracres, Maghull. At the time I took the photos Fouracres was not being flooded. The next few hours will probably be crucial.

With thoughts for all those being flooded or in danger of it.

Environmental & Planning Policy must be joined up

Cameron must rethink planning to prevent flooding

A group of experts led by the Landscape Institute have written to David Cameron warning that the Government must not risk future flood prevention by focusing on short-term problems. The experts are calling for planners to adopt a series of measures aimed at tackling the risk of flooding, including measures like planting trees, requiring that all new developments in towns and cities should include flood alleviation and protection measures, and that any new homes built on flood plains must be resilient to flooding. Sue Illman, president of the Landscape Institute, said: “We want the money that is going to be invested spent wisely to give us a proper outcome.” The Guardian reports that dredging of two major rivers feeding the Somerset Levels is due to begin in the next few weeks.

The LGiU produced the above (edited by me) today but that is only part of the story. Fundamentally, the UK problem is that Planning is seen as a predominately economic matter with environmental consequences being very much a secondary consideration. Such has been the case for generations and Governments of all colours have failed to act to bring true harmony between environmental and planning policy making.

The issue has not been highlighted by flooding so much in Sefton, although concern about the potential for flooding was a major consideration in the minds of Formby residents when they recently rose up to fight a new housing development off Liverpool Road. The elephant in the room, or should I say both elephants, are flooding and building on high grade agricultural land. Both are high end public concerns that most Westminster politicians seem to be oblivious of.

Environmental sustainability has to lead the Planning agenda

If Westminster is going to act to curb building in ways that cause flooding they also need to act at the same time to curb building on high grade agricultural land. Environmental sustainability has to be the primary aim with economic growth, important though that is, taking second place.

Flooding – We knew it was bad but………………..

UK reaches global top ten for flood risk

The UK is among the top 10 countries in the world at greatest economic risk from flooding. It is ranked seventh highest globally for its economic exposure to flooding – behind the US, China, India, Bangladesh, Germany and Japan, according to risk analysis company Maplecroft. The latest index put the UK 42nd most at risk for physical exposure to flooding. But its high population density and the proximity of property and infrastructure to flood zones means its non-agricultural economic exposure is the seventh highest. However, despite the high risk, the UK was also one of the best placed countries to weather any problems because of its spending power and robust infrastructure.

Financial Times, Page: 3 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 4 Daily Express, Page: 6 (all today)

With thanks to the LGiU for this information.