Storm drain work has caused ‘months of havoc’ in village

Storm drain work has caused ‘months of havoc’ in village

by Henry James (May 2021)

A PROJECT to create a huge storm draining tank to prevent flooding in a village has created ‘months of havoc’ due to mismanagement and delays, and it has left a popular park ruined, residents claim.

The work has been carried out by United Utilities in Rock View in Melling in a bid to prevent homes and roads being flooded after periods of heavy rain.

It is part of a £4million project by the water company to upgrade the local sewer network.

But residents in an adjoining estate say that while they sympathise with the aims of the scheme, they have suffered ten months of disruption as a result of the work and have been unable to use a popular park because of the scheme.

They say roads were dug up while pipework was installed which meant they were unable to get to their properties in their cars for weeks.

They also say the roads were damaged by the machinery and not properly repaired.

A community park also cannot be used as concrete slabs have been placed above ground, they claim.

Steve Gerard who lives on an adjoining estate said: “This scheme has created havoc environmentally for ten months.”

He claims planning approval was pushed through without proper consultation and many of the planning officers’ decision notices were ignored.

He added: “Every phase of the scheme has been delayed. The scheme is in its tenth  month and there is no sign of completion.

“Highways were ripped up outside our homes for months while massive machines dug up four metre deep pipework. We were not able to get to our properties for weeks with our cars.

“There has been major cranes, drills, mine shaft building machinery in the middle of our estate.

“Roads have been ruined by haulage machinery, and wagons and have not been repaired properly.

“A community park is presently ruined with concrete slabs above ground when the planning application said they would be buried.

Another resident Mark Howard added: “The project has destroyed this green space area for any kids to now ride a bike, play football of fly kites.

“It is not acceptable, especially with the year we have all had being locked indoors.”

United Utilities say all the work has been undertaken with the approval of planning and highways regulations and that discussions are ongoing to find a satisfactory resolution to the disruption.

A United Utilities spokesperson said: “Looking at ways to tackle and reduce the risk of flooding across the borough is a very important matter for many.

“However, we appreciate completing major engineering work on this scale can be concerning for local residents.

“As this project moves into the stage of returning the area back to the local community, who have been extremely patient whilst we provide resilience in the network to protect neighbouring homes, we want to leave a space behind they can enjoy. Discussions are currently ongoing to find a satisfactory resolution.

“All the work completed has been undertaken with the approval of planning and highways regulations.”

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