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

Flooding Waterloo – A reminder of how low lying Sefton Borough is

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/watch-see-how-torrential-rain-7897774

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above.

Yesterday’s heavy rain brought flooding to one local community and it is a timely reminder of how prone low lying Sefton is to flooding. It was only a couple of years ago that Fouracres and Sefton Lane in Maghull were flooded and these flooding events are likely to to become more frequent due to global warming.

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.

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.