You think Feniton is the only place where Wainhomes mucked up surface water drainage? Think again!

“Following heavy rain in November and December, local residents living at Hurst Meadows and Craiglands are in despair due to “dark brown” flood water that has been flowing towards their properties from a Broad Lane development.

At the beginning of November, it is understood that residents of Craiglands advised Rochdale Council that an attenuation pond at the top of Hurst Meadows was almost “full to the brim” and that that outflow pipe had “disappeared under the water and foliage that had not been removed”.

A resident reported to the council that surface water from the Wain Homes side of the development was “pouring onto the footpath and grass” around the attenuation pond and added that “the water was dark brown in colour” and that “so much of it had flowed into the pond that its contents were also dark brown.”

Neil Longsden from the Broad Lane Action Group (BLAG) said: “Rochdale Council has responded to the affected outflow pipe (which is owned by United Utilities) that had become defective and it was hoped the situation would be resolved quite quickly. Our member advised the council that when she walked over the land at 11am on Monday 16 November, the pipe was visible and the dark brown surface water only appeared between 11am and 12 noon that day. We question what is the ‘brown water’? Is it a danger to local residents and families? Where is it coming from? How will it be rectified?

“We do not hold our breath for an answer because we have been waiting almost 12 months for Rochdale Council to appoint an expert to identify the source of the water which has plagued Craiglands residents for 25 years and continues to do so. Councillor Kath Nickson requested this report at the beginning of 2015 and confirmed funds were available – the council say they cannot find an expert to carry out this research into an issue which has caused so much distress over the years.”

Plans to build a housing development on the site were approved by councillors in April 2014.

Mr Longsden added: “When BLAG was objecting to the then proposed developments one of the issues raised was the extremely wet conditions of Spring Hill (the area going to be developed). During the Planning Inspector’s hearing Taylor Wimpey and Wain Homes both agreed to install attenuation tanks that would retain almost all surface water and then slowly release it into the attenuation pond at Hurst Meadows before being again released into the culvert which runs towards Oldham Road.

“Towards the end of November 2015 Rochdale started to experience continuous rainfall and the pond soon reached critical levels. The open space at the top of Hurst Meadows was flooded and covered in silt and other concoctions, as were the public footpaths running through the area which are used by local residents extensively on a daily basis.”

It is understood that Wain Homes have commenced groundworks to clear up the silt and other debris and is working to reinstate the land to its former ‘grassed terrain’. They also plan to install an attenuation tank, which should help to control the previously rapid flow of water.

Taylor Wimpey are said to be installing their attenuation tank and other control devices in the next couple of weeks, with their part of the engineering to control the surface water on schedule.

Rochdale Council did not respond to our request for comment.”

Wainhomes: not Tavistock’s favourite developer

” WEST Devon Borough Council is investigating a possible breach in the Section 106 agreement of a planning application for the development of 61 homes in North Tawton.

The investigation relates to a marketing strategy.

Developers Wain-homes Ltd, first submitted a controversial planning application back in October 2013, for the construction of a new housing estate at Batheway Fields, west of High Street, in North Tawton.
Despite public concern, NTTC (North Tawton Town Council) supported the application because of a medical centre and industrial area (employment land) that were included in the plans.

The developers had also obtained planning permission for roads, footways, parking, landscaping, drainage, open space and allotments.

Wainhomes has since submitted a new application for 28 more residential dwellings at the site with associated footways, parking, landscaping and drainage. The plans no longer show employment land and the allotments have been relocated.

Recently West Devon Borough Council has been made aware of a possible breach of terms set in the Section 106 agreement for the initial application of 61 homes.

The Section 106 agreement outlines a detailed timetable of the dates that West Devon Borough Council has set for the completion of particular written documentation or payments.

The fifth schedule is that the developer should submit marketing strategy to the council for written approval prior to the occupation of the first dwelling and subsequently to marketing the employment land and medical centre site in accordance with those strategies for a period of five years unless planning permission is granted for an alternative use.

One local resident told the Times that she believed that the first house on the site was occupied two weeks ago and that West Devon Borough Council had not received the marketing strategy.

A spokesperson for the borough council said: ‘We’ve been made aware of a possible breach in the Section 106 agreement concerning the planning application for 61 homes at Batheway Fields, North Tawton.

‘We’re committed to ensuring that Section 106 agreements are complied with across the borough and planning enforcement are currently investigating, and as such, we are not in a position to provide any more information at this point in the process.’

In submitting the new application for 28 extra dwellings the developer has proposed the relocation of the allotments to outside the site area and it no longer shows the employment land.

However, Matthew Loughrey-Robinson, land manager at Wainhomes previously said to the Times: ‘The bigger picture is that employment could be provided in an alternative location in North Tawton which could be considered as part of another connected wider application for the area.’

Wainhomes has not responded to the Times’ request for a comment.

Oliver Letwin not Dorset’s golden boy these days

“?..Whilst 36% of the constituency did vote for him in the last election I genuinely feel that his views do not represent those of the vast majority of people living in West Dorset which, whilst it does have an affluent side, also has a large population on very low incomes, reliant on tourism and farm work to make ends meet. We need an inclusive society and these divisive opinions do nothing to foster that. I look forward to the revelation of his opinion on the Poll Tax riots which were mostly by people with white skin. …”

Feniton: a tale of two flood relief systems where Wainhomes comes bottom

Feniton’s Independent Councillor Susie Bond report on Feniton’s most recent flooding challenges shows there were mixed results. Those of the Environment Agency’s Phase 1 works appear to be doing their job – but those of the controversial Wainhomes development are a very different story.

It is worth going to Councillor Bond’s web page (link below) to see the photographs.

EDDC’s negligent attitude to this problem must surely be a case for the Ombudsman.

“… Less successful was the works carried out by Wainhomes on the Winchester Park site.

Surface water poured around the attenuation tanks, straight into the Parish Council play area. The special surface under the swings is now full of silt and will have to be cleaned again (I’ve lost track of how many times this has had to be done and at what cost to the public purse). From there, it flooded the allotments (again) and poured under the gates into the drains. With a night of rain ahead, the flood wardens were out in force to slow the rate of flow such that the drains would be able to cope.

It was cold, miserable work.

The frustrating thing is that this is still happening at all, even after Wainhomes has built the 50 houses they were allowed. As is well known, Wainhomes failed initially to install attenuation tanks to help mitigate surface water run-off from their site. Another measure was for them to install swales – a system of ditches between the estate and the adjoining agricultural fields – to help store surface water.

When flood wardens and I looked at the swales over New Year to see how well they were coping, to our amazement they were virtually empty.

Were the swales built according to the specifications drawn up by Wainhomes’ consultants? Or is the design of the surface water drainage system substandard, as Feniton Parish Council suspects?

Either way we were amazed to see that the new bank between Station Road and the open space vacated by the temporary site office has been deliberately breached.


This irresponsible action has resulted in water being allowed to pour from the site down Station Road towards houses which have a long history of flooding.”