Flooding – Why do new houses keep getting built in flood risk areas

www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/25/mps-to-debate-planning-bill-to-protect-homes-from-surface-flooding

The Guardian has the story – see link above

This is a very important issue yet for reason that do not bear close examination more and more new homes seem to be getting built in flood risk areas.

The Maghull area flooding pressure points

The Maghull area flooding pressure points

Only yesterday in conversation I heard of a Maghull family refused flood risk insurance due to the location of their property. This particular property seems to be caught up in the concerns about the River Alt and Dovers Brook over-topping problems at times of very heavy rain.

With thanks to my research assistant Roy Connell

Maghull Flooding – I have just been interviewed by Radio Merseyside

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Stood in a muddy field next to Dovers Brook with it tippling down, that’s where I was interviewed by Radio Merseyside journalist Mike Perkins as storm Frank was hitting Maghull today.

Dovers Brook in full flood looking north from Sefton Lane on Boxing Day 2015.

Dovers Brook in full flood looking north from Sefton Lane on Boxing Day 2015.

Thankfully at noon today the River Alt was not high and neither was Dovers Brook unlike Boxing Day when Maghull was hit by flooding.

Not sure what parts of the interview Radio Merseyside will use but I made comment on the low lying nature of Sefton and how much of it is prone to flooding at times of heavy prolonged rain.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook on Boxing Day.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook on Boxing Day.

I also explained how Whinney Brook flows into Dovers Brook which in turn flows into the River Alt and how when the Alt is too high the process starts to work in reverse causing flooding for parts of western Maghull.

Having lived in Sefton Lane as a lad and teenager I recalled how flooding took place near Dovers Brook back then but that it has got far worse in recent years with 2012 being the worst flooding event.

Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane - The houses were about to be inundated on 26th December 2015.

Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane – The houses were about to be inundated on 26th December 2015.

We also discussed the work the Environment Agency is doing on the Alt to create food zones in fields north east of Lunt and how this almost replicates what used to happen a 100 years ago when the Meadows around the Alt would flood each winter. In very cold weather it would provide a place for folk to ice skate.

Monsoon Maghull – Boxing day flooding – more shots of the misery caused by heavy rain

Not a winter wonderland on Boxing Day - outside Sefton Meadows Garden Centre.

Not a winter wonderland on Boxing Day – outside Sefton Meadows Garden Centre.

A59 Northway/Dover Road/Liverpool Road South Junction.

A59 Northway/Dover Road/Liverpool Road South Junction.

The pedestrian bridge over Dovers Brook became a river itself.

The pedestrian bridge over Dovers Brook became a river itself.

Dovers Brook in full flood looking north from Sefton Lane

Dovers Brook in full flood looking north from Sefton Lane

Making waves in Sefton Lane.

Making waves in Sefton Lane.

Cop car goes for a paddle at The Meadows

Cop car goes for a paddle at The Meadows

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.

Confluence of River Alt & Dovers Brook – Maghull

I have commented before about the problems Dovers Brook causes when it can’t empty out into the River Alt at their confluence just to the north of Bridges Lane on the Maghull/Sefton Civil Parish Boundary.

I have now tracked down a clear photo which I took a while ago, that illustrates the problem well:-

rsz_confluence

Dovers Brook is to the left and the River Alt to the Right. Dovers Brook backs up when the River Alt has no more capacity to take additional water. The consequences were sadly felt by residents in Fouracres and Sefton Lane the last time this happened in September 2012.

The plan being developed by the Environment Agency will see fields flooded to the east of Lunt and Homer Green when such situations occur in the future I am told.

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

What land owners/developers have planned for Sefton’s East Parishes – Green Belt building on a massive scale – Posting 5 southern Maghull

Posting 1 covered north eastern Lydiate, posting 2 western Maghull & Lydiate, posting 3 eastern Maghull (including Labour’s truly massive urban extension to Maghull) and posting 4 Melling and Aintree Village.

This posting is about land to the south of Maghull. Let’s have a look at a map. Click to enlarge it:-

The site is behind The Crescent and Fouracres and it is not actually in Maghull but in Sefton Civil Parish. The red line in this case is the boundary between Maghull & Sefton Civil Parishes.

The site is behind The Crescent and Fouracres and it is not actually in Maghull but in Sefton Civil Parish. The red line in this case is the boundary between Maghull & Sefton Civil Parishes.

The blue area is being promoted for building by a land owner/developer and worryingly parts of it are prone to flooding. Houses in Fouracres were under water in September 2012 due to Dovers Brook over-topping. Part of the site was once proposed to be a nature reserve which sounds a far more sensible use for this land.

The problem here is the River Alt which carries rainwater away from the whole district. Dovers Brook flows into it but when the River Alt is too high the brook can’t discharge its water and the over-topping, as happened in September 2012, can happen. Below is a shot of Dovers Brook when it was in full flood, where in goes under Sefton Lane, Maghull:-

rsz_a_very_swollen_dovers_brook_maghull

This can’t be a sensible site to develop for housing.

My last posting on this theme will draw all the Green Belt and high grade agricultural issues together in the East Parish part of Sefton Borough.