Axminster residents living in fear

PUBLISHED: 08:42 10 July 2013 | UPDATED: 08:42 10 July 2013

A flooded housing estate at Axminster last July - residents  say nothing has been done to prevent a repeat.

A flooded housing estate at Axminster last July - residents say nothing has been done to prevent a repeat.

Archant

A year after homes were hit by flooding angry residents say nothing has been done to prevent a repeat - despite promises of action

A year after torrential rain brought flooding misery to residents on two Axminster estates nothing has been done to prevent a repeat, town councillors were told this week.

Angry Willhayes Park resident Dave Samways blasted officials for their lack of action and said his elderly neighbours were living in fear.

“How would you like it?” He asked.

“Some people down there are over 90 and they can’t sleep at night in case it’s going to rain again.”

Speaking during the public forum at Monday’s meeting Mr Samways said it had been almost a year to the day since he and his neighbours had been hit by the devastating floods of July 7.

But despite promises of action – including an assurance from MP Neil Parish it would never happen again – nothing had been done to protect their properties from the next big downpour.

Mayor Jeremy Walden said he was just as frustrated at the lack of action – but there was nothing the town council could do because it was not the responsible authority.

Cllr Andrew Moulding said the various agencies who were involved had met on site and it appeared the main problem was that the culvert under Wilhayes Lane and the railway line was not adequate. Responsibility for that appeared to lay with the company that took over from Network Rail.

The county council and environment agency had agreed to come up with a plan for them to put it right which was to be coasted but he had not yet seen any proposals for the work or any figures.

He added: “The man (Mr Samways) is right - it is taking far too long.

Meanwhile in a bid to step up pressure for action residents at Willhayes and the nearby Cricketers estate, which was also badly flooded, are seeking financial compensation from the district council.

Willhayes resident Tim Phillips is circulating a questionnaire seeking his neighbours support for a reduction in council tax.

In it he says: “The unnecessary extreme flooding that occurred in the area of The Cricketers and Willhayes Park (July 2012) was more severe and ruinous that on previous occasions. It is no secret that the capacity of the culverts taking Milbrook stream waters into the Axe valley is insufficient for these extreme rainfall events.

“Our property in Willhayes Park was affected, resulting, in our view, in both a potential increase in property insurance premiums and a reduction in capital value.

“Certainly affected properties will be harder to sell. Mass requests for a lowering of the council tax band might make EDDC wake up.”

The town council agreed to press the responsible agencies to get on and carry out the flood defence work.


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