FLOODING: Small problem made worse

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In the interest of balance, I would like to make a few comments about Northumberland County Council’s flood alleviation scheme on Morpeth Common.

It appears to me that the council has used a sledgehammer to crack a nut and in so doing made a small problem much worse.

During the public consultation, it was told that after heavy rain, water collected at the lowest point, then drained away naturally.

The council chose to ignore this and in constructing the earth works blocked the natural sump so the water can no longer drain away.

Far from resolving a minor surface water problem, the council’s project has exacerbated the problem by destroying the natural drainage and leaving us with a permanent pond.

The pond has been there since it rained on Boxing Day, December 26, 2017.

Water will not collect in the two surface water attenuation ponds because they have been constructed above the level where water collects naturally.

The recent suggestion of resolving the problem with field drains would probably have been a better solution initially, rather than the expensive and extensive earthworks that have left us looking at a landscape that has resembled the Somme for the last six months.

We are still awaiting promised restoration work, namely grass seeding.

However, I think the opportunity has been missed as the acres of mud have become like concrete in the recent warm weather.

Throughout the project, which started on October 23, 2017, the council has been reluctant to communicate with the residents and has appeared unsympathetic to our distress.

MJ Horton

Highmoor