‘Now is the time to do it properly’ says neighbour

Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat.
Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat.

A Swarland man is concerned that flooding issues are being ‘brushed under the carpet’ rather than dealt with as part of a planning application.

Ron Turnbull’s concerns are in relation to plans to expand the Percy Wood Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat, which were due to be decided last week before being withdrawn from the agenda of the North Northumberland Local Area Council meeting.

Mr Turnbull, whose plot at The Old Tweed Mill has been submerged by water on at least four occasions over the last 17 years, claims that the leisure resort does not have a proper drainage system and can point from his land to trenches dug on the site, which cannot always cope with the flow.

A response to a complaint about this to the county council’s enforcement team in 2012 acknowledges the issue and adds that while some of the drainage ditches may be of a size and scale which would require planning permission, they are immune from enforcement action if constructed more than four years previously.

The new application has twice sparked objections from the council as the lead local flood authority.

Mr Turnbull also pointed out that the original drainage strategy plan showed ‘an existing 100mm pipe’ and ‘existing connection to culvert’ on his land where no such connection existed.

An updated drainage strategy was submitted in July, which showed an ‘approximate route of culvert’ further south.

Mr Turnbull says there is an old watercourse or culvert in that area, but claims that it is decades old and it is unclear what state it is in.

Nonetheless, despite the additional information, the lead local flood authority maintained its objection in August. The parish council also raised a number of concerns related to flooding.

However, in the committee report for last week’s meeting, it was proposed to deal with it via a condition ‘requiring a scheme to dispose of surface water to be submitted together with maintenance, management and adoption details’.

The planning officer concludes that ‘the proposals will not have an adverse impact on surface-water flooding and should in fact, alleviate this issue to some degree’.