Residents complain about new drainage system

PUBLISHED: 11:56 09 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:56 09 December 2014

Tracey Clayton and her children, Darcey, 14 and Robson, 13, with the drainage basin on Badgers Brooks Road in Drayton.

Tracey Clayton and her children, Darcey, 14 and Robson, 13, with the drainage basin on Badgers Brooks Road in Drayton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

Residents in Drayton are unhappy with a £200,000 flood scheme which they have described as an ‘eyesore’. Earlier in the year, Anglian Water announced plans to create five ‘basins’ in the north east of Taverham, near Ashgrove, Badgers Brook and Judge’s Garden. These would include special plants which would soak up water with the aim of protecting homes from flooding. But people who live close to the scheme have expressed their concerns by describing how in their view, it is a ‘health hazard’ an ‘eyesore’ and ‘the idea is completely flawed’.

The drainage basin on Badgers Brooks Road in Drayton.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe drainage basin on Badgers Brooks Road in Drayton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Water bosses said that ‘thirsty’ wildflower grasses and plants would be planted in the basins and in strategic places to create a larger system that slows and soaks up the water, allowing it to drain away more effectively. However Tracey Clayton, who lives on Badgers Brook Road, sees it differently.

“We got letter through 2 or 3 weeks before to say that the scheme was coming and we were then shown an artists impression of the basins and the architects that would be involved. We were told there would be grass to attract butterflies and we thought it was going to be pretty and safe. It all sounded lovely till machinery and equipment started coming.

The mess they have left is just a disgrace as we have to live with it. We live in a cul-de-sac that faces the basins and water has been in there for weeks. They said they would tidy it up but it’s just a huge awful mudbath.

When I look out of my bedroom window every morning my heart sinks. It used to be beautiful, there was just grass and kids used to play football on there and go sledging. Now it’s just ugly”.

Another resident in the area, who didn’t want to be named, added: “The scheme is absolute joke, it’s dangerous and the water is stagnant. They have dug a great hole and are now not proposing to look at it again before spring, it’s ludicrous.

They have created an eyesore as well as a health hazard and they haven’t given us theoretical explanation. Hundreds of children walk past there on the way to the school and it needs addressing.

If nobody has been injured by spring is the miracle- it blatantly does not work- the concept is flawed- it ruined a nice area”.

The sustainable drainage system is the biggest of its kind in the East of England and aims to mimic the way rainfall drains naturally rather than conventional piped methods, which cause problems such as flooding, pollution or damage to the environment. The scheme was scheduled to take 13 weeks but Emma Staples from Anglian Water says the works are still ongoing.

“The scheme is not finished and there have been challenges. It is a different concept to the concrete drains where the water goes away and you don’t see it again. With the basins they will fill up with water which looks like they are not working, but that is not the case. This scheme will be significant in the future.

We do recognise that the way timings have fallen; it will be spring before the plants can grow. I understand that residents are unhappy and we are very sorry. I completely understand and it doesn’t look as attractive as it would do. We think it is a much better solution that digging up Taverham with road closures. I would hope people understand it is necessary and any flood alleviation scheme will cause disruption.

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