Campaign launched to protest house building in town affected by flash floods

09:58 07 August 2014

Campaigner Suzanne Compagnoni putting up posters protesting against new housing in Thaxted.

Campaigner Suzanne Compagnoni putting up posters protesting against new housing in Thaxted.

Archant

Residents are to use a witty campaign slogan to protest at house building in a town hit by flash floods last week.

Councillor Martin Foley, Thaxted’s representative on Uttlesford District Council, came up with the message ‘Stop Flooding Us With Houses’ after calling for a halt to the building of houses until the town’s drainage system is improved.

He told the Reporter: “I’m told that the improvements would cost millions. But the problem we had last week was not just because of freak flooding – there was heavy rain all over the place, not just over Thaxted.

“I’ve been told Anglian Water has been called out seven times this year because of drainage problems.

“I know there was a lot of water but I don’t agree with what was said by a few people last week, that the town had not seen rainfall like it in 100 years.”

More than 30 homes were flooded after heavy rain and thunderstorms hit Thaxted in the early hours of Monday.

The areas worst affected were Weaverhead Close and Park Street, and Weaverhead Lane collapsed because of the volume of water.

“After a week of shock and horror, and a big clean up in the town, ­residents are going to be making themselves heard,” said Cllr Foley.

“Everybody who passes through the town will see the new campaign message on thousands of posters and in people’s windows.

“Most people want new house building to stop as the town’s ­drainage system clearly cannot cope. Thaxted residents will not put up with being ignored any more.”

Cllr Foley is working closely with residents’ group Hands off Thaxted (HOT), and has asked for support from Thaxted Parish Council.

An Uttlesford District Council spokesman said: “The council would like to reassure residents that planned new development in Thaxted will not exacerbate the risk of future flooding.

“New development incorporates measures designed to control run off close to where rainfall occurs and to mimic natural drainage as closely as possible.”

He added: “In preparing its Local Plan, the council worked with the Environment Agency to carry out a strategic flood risk assessment.”

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