“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.”