Flood fears heard at warden scheme

Flooding on Thoresby Dale in Hucknall in July 2013.
Flooding on Thoresby Dale in Hucknall in July 2013.

Residents have told county council experts that major housing developments in Hucknall will exacerbate flooding issues.

They stressed that new builds must take flood prevention into account at a public meeting where members of Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) were promoting a flood warden scheme.

Residents said that flooding problems in Hucknall were likely to continue with many hundreds of new homes being built in different parts of the town.

Geoff Thorpe, of Hucknall’s Reach Out residents group, claimed that what had been done as part of the schemes to deal with flooding amounted to little more than applying a sticking plaster.

Another Reach Out member, Vaughan Gallagher, said a two-and-a-half year wait for a report by the county council about flooding in Hucknall was ‘not acceptable’.

The meeting was conducted by Rob Fisher, NCC’s group manager responsible for response to emergencies, and Katie Harrison, an emergency planning officer. They agreed to ‘take the message back’.

The meeting, held at Haydon Hall, was attended by about 30 people, to discuss plans to set up a flood warden scheme in the town.

Mr Fisher said: “We cannot give any reassurance tonight to prevent flooding. The purpose of the meeting is to focus on what people can do collectively to help neighbours in the event of flooding.”

He hoped Hucknall could follow the example of Southwell, which had 57 wardens in different parts of the community.

Mr Fisher explained that the role of flood wardens was to maintain contact with neighbours, alert the powers-that-be about any flooding and liaise with the Met Office for weather forecasts.

An NCC spokesman said: “The county council has trained volunteers in around 20 communities. In five of them volunteers have been trained to erect signs warning drivers to slow down or close permitted roads in a safe way when the flooding is significant.

“The authority is interested in working with other communities which are affected by floods and fast travelling vehicles causing bow waves which wash against and enter properties in their areas.

“Volunteers are only permitted to erect warning signs or close roads as agreed by the council and are required to contact the authority before signs are set up and taken down. The council is also assisting the Environment Agency in training flood warden volunteers to raise awareness on flood warnings in their areas.”

Anyone willing to become a flooding warden for Hucknall is asked to call 0300 500 8080.