DEVELOPERS behind a planned 800-home new village near a Hampshire market town have admitted there is a problem with flooding at the former gravel pit site, it is claimed.
Hampshire’s Romsey Extra division member Roy Perry claims this was confirmed when he met representatives from the consortium behind the development at Abbotswood near Romsey.
Around 150 homes are already occupied at the development and more homes are still being built.
Councillor Perry also met Environment Agency officials and staff from Hampshire county council and Test Valley Borough Council to discuss problems with water run-off from the development which led to nearby Cupernham residents’ gardens being inundated with water several times in 2012 and last month.
Mr Perry said after last Friday’s meeting that he was told by the developers’ consultant engineer Mike Christmas that: “Water was discharged on to Cupernham Lane from Abbotswood on December 20 last year, in particular.”
He added: “During the site visit we were shown three balancing ponds constructed as part of the flood attenuation measures. It was recognised that the balancing ponds had overflowed.
"But, it was the view of the consultant, expressed in his report that ‘significantly more of the flood water’ came from the low-lying area of the area of nature conservation.”
The area of nature conservation is on the western side of the development and away from proposed housing.
Mr Perry said Environment Agency staff agreed that the water run-off could have come from the area of nature conservation but they were going to investigate further and get back to him.
“As a layman it seems to me it is possible that there was more water on the area of nature conservation part of the site, because water may have run-off the hard standing of the already built area, but I accept that is a lay opinion and I need the Environment Agency and Test Valley planners to confirm that the land drains were all in place and coping properly with rainfall.”
Mr Perry said temporary work has been done on the site in a bid to prevent what he described as any “further water discharge” from the site onto Cupernham Lane.
“I very much appreciate that the work that has so far prevented any recurrence but as it is making use of the highway drainage system it can only be temporary and this is recognised by the developers.”
“I have particularly asked for there to be a thorough check on any potential risk of foul water getting into surface water discharge. We were assured at the meeting that was not possible but I have asked that Test Valley’s environmental health officers make checks to confirm there is no such risk,” said Mr Perry who has visited Cupernham residents affected by the water run-off.
A spokesperson for the Abbotswood Consortium said “no one was available to comment” but confirmed the drainage and flooding issues were being investigated.