Maghull – Heavy rain reminds us of the potential peril of building on agricultural land locally

The recent heavy rain got me thinking about the soon to be built and vast urban extension to Maghull of @1700 houses. I went to have a look at the site on Sunday 23rd February. The photos below really speak for themselves as they start with the waterlogged site as I saw it followed by where the water eventually drains to i.e. Dovers Brook and the River Alt.

Maghull East Site from Ashworth Motorway junction 23 02 20

Maghull East Site from Poverty Lane 23 02 20

Dovers Brook at Sefton Lane looking north 23 02 20

Dovers Brook at Sefton Lane 23 02 20 – the bridge is all but lost under the floodwater.

River Alt 23 02 20 looking south from Bridges Lane.

Having lived locally for over 50 years I can’t say I’m surprised by this situation as our low-lying land has always been liable to flood after heavy rain. Of course climate change is making those floods more regular and at times worse than they have been in the past.

What has not, in my opinion, been effectively resolved is how the floodwater is dealt with as flooding of Sefton Lane is far from unusual each year these days. What worries me is how the local drainage network is going to cope after a vast area of presently agricultural land (the Maghull East Site) is put under concrete, brick and tarmac. The implications will not be just on that site, if the drainage issues are not fully addressed, but potentially to the west of it to the River Alt which takes a great deal of Maghull’s surface water run-off.

That the Maghull East Site site will be developed is a given as Sefton Council’s Local Plan has already designated it for building on but, and it’s a very big but, what guarantees are going to be put in place that this building will not make a presently unresolved flooding problem even worse?

Sefton Council and the developers of the land have to get this right otherwise those of us who fought against the vast site being designated for building will be reminding the powers that be that they were warned about the consequences.

My thanks to Andrew Blackburn for the lead to this posting

Maghull – Sustainable Urban Drainage at Poppy Fields

Here’s my latest photo of the SUD pond between School Lane and the new houses on the presently being built Poppy Fields estate:-

We will see more of these SUD’s appearing as Maghull’s eastern urban extension starts to be built on what is presently agricultural land on the other side of School Lane, where 1,600+ houses and an industrial park are due to constructed:-

Sefton Local Plan – Labour has concerns about it? Really, then why do they keep supporting it!

The letter below was written in response to the lead article in the Aintree & Maghull Champion on 13th January entitled ‘Concerns at Local Plan put to Inquiry’

Dear Sir,

I read with mounting disbelief the representations made to the Planning Inspector by Maghull’s Labour councillors as reported in the Champion on 13th January.

Yes they were making all the right noises but hang on a minute it is Labour run Sefton Council that is trying to impose its appalling Local Plan on the Borough. What’s more when I was a member of Maghull Town Council Labour members would not vote to reject the Local Plan! Now all of sudden Labour has concerns.

Frankly, this say one thing and then say just about the opposite when Labour thinks folks will have forgotten about their original stance on a matter as important as this is appalling.

Having fought Sefton’s Local Plan, which proposes thousands of houses to be built on high grade agricultural land, areas that flood and Green Belt with Labour councillors supporting for the Plan I find Labour’s concern now very hollow indeed.

Let’s see Labour run Maghull Town Council propose that the Local Plan be completely rejected and for Labour run Sefton Council to do the same then Labour will have clearly done a welcome U turn. Warm words now giving the impression of concerns about the Plan mean nothing unless they actually reject it/withdraw it.

Yours sincerely

Cllr. Tony Robertson

This letter was significantly edited and published in the Champion on 27th January 2016

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