Flood concerns raised over major housing development after Babet deluge
Concerns have been raised about plans to build more than 1,500 new homes on a green field site following flooding caused by Storm Babet on Friday.
Redrow homes is planning to build 1520 houses on the site between Bersham and Wrexham.
Several fields on the site at Lower Berse Farm were under water after Friday’s heavy rain, reinforcing local residents’ complaints about the area being a flood risk.
Offa county councillor Kate Wilkinson, who has campaigned against the housing development along with Offa Community Council, said: “The current site is already prone to flooding and any new housing will increase the run-off from the site to other areas downstream.
“I’m incredibly concerned that the developers are willing to take this risk, knowing that climate change is happening as we speak and is forecast to get much worse.
“I think it’s irresponsible to be destroying green fields that provide natural soakaways and creating a huge swathe of urban sprawl that will cause problems for anyone on the new housing estate and those living nearby.
“I will continue to work with local residents to try to prevent this site from being developed for housing that will not meet local need.”
Plaid Cymru councillor Becca Martin has also launched a petition to oppose the site being developed as a housing estate.
She added: “This is another good reason for Wrexham Council to refuse this planning application. It’s adding to the pressures on the environment – in terms of increased traffic, increased pollution and increased flood risk.
“Who would want to live on an estate that potentially could see these kinds of floods and facing difficult conversations with insurance companies.
“It makes the Welsh Labour Government’s decision to try to force through this site as one suitable for housing through the Local Development Plan all the more incredible. As things stand, they’re willing to allow developers to have their way rather than listen to local residents who will have to live with the consequences of any bad decision far into the future.
“I would urge the Welsh Government to rethink this LDP before it’s too late.”
Addressing the risk of flooding in a consultation on the proposals for the development, Redrow says: “A ‘Flood Consequences Assessment & Drainage Strategy’ has been prepared alongside the proposals.
“The strategy identified that much of the site is at a very low risk of flooding. Areas with a higher risk will be addressed through the creation of areas for the storage of water across the site.
“Ground investigations indicate that infiltration techniques appear feasible in a number of locations throughout the site. In such locations, Redrow will provide individual property soakaways, as well as permeable surfacing on private driveways. Where such techniques are not feasible, surface water runoff will be discharged to watercourses crossing the site and the River Clywedog”.
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