VIDEO: 'Give us more flood defences' plead families flooded out of homes on Christmas Day

Bournemouth Echo: TENTERHOOKS: Ken Richards, far left, pictured with his two sons Alan and Steve, back, grandson Ben and other resident Paul Richards, front right, by ruined furniture at the front of the flats in Christchurch TENTERHOOKS: Ken Richards, far left, pictured with his two sons Alan and Steve, back, grandson Ben and other resident Paul Richards, front right, by ruined furniture at the front of the flats in Christchurch

RESIDENTS left homeless after the River Stour burst its banks and flooded their homes are calling for increased flood defences to protect their properties.

Eight families were evacuated at 4.30am on Christmas Day after dirty floodwater contaminated with sewage swept into their homes in Conifer Close, Christchurch.

The ground floor flats in the Stourbanks apartment block have been completely destroyed and the residents have been forced to find somewhere new to live.

Resident Eric Matthews, 76, whose flat was flooded with two feet of water said: “My flat is completely ruined and I have to find a new home. All my worldly possessions have been drenched and are now damaged beyond repair.

“Living so close to the river is a nightmare when there is no flood defences.

“We were constantly on tenterhooks as we never knew exactly when it was going to flood.”

The flooding has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and the communal building is now contaminated because of the dirty water.

Alan Richards, who rescued his 80-year-old father Ken, said: “He was absolutely terrified because he woke up surrounded by freezing water early in the morning on Christmas Day.

“If a one metre high flood defence bund had been built to protect from flooding then the building would have been saved.”

The building flooded in 2000 and 2003 and the Environment Agency carried out a feasibility study, but no flood defences were put in place.

Resident Paul Richards, 60, said: “We need increased flood defences to protect us from any further flooding as we are very vulnerable at the moment.”

A spokesman from the Environment Agency said: “We are sympathetic as there is nothing worse than flooding at this time of year. At the moment it is not financially possible to install any flood defences but the residents can take advantage of the Personal Protection Fund.”

Comments (8)

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6:12am Wed 1 Jan 14

The Witch says...

Why is it not financially possible to install flood defences? These properties have been flooded in 2000 & 2003, surely by now money should have been made available. Once again a government department failing to met the needs of people.
I feel very sorry for these residents, I can't imagine what it must be like to have one's property flooded and to know that it can happen over again.
Why is it not financially possible to install flood defences? These properties have been flooded in 2000 & 2003, surely by now money should have been made available. Once again a government department failing to met the needs of people. I feel very sorry for these residents, I can't imagine what it must be like to have one's property flooded and to know that it can happen over again. The Witch

9:26am Wed 1 Jan 14

Ivy says...

Whilst having sympathy for these people and for the Iford Park Home residents, the question must be asked as to why were these properties allowed to be built in hat is very obviosuly a flood plain and why are Park homes allowed to close to river banks? It's time lessons were learnt.
Whilst having sympathy for these people and for the Iford Park Home residents, the question must be asked as to why were these properties allowed to be built in hat is very obviosuly a flood plain and why are Park homes allowed to close to river banks? It's time lessons were learnt. Ivy

9:36am Wed 1 Jan 14

BIGTONE says...

All as the EA have to say is----"sorry but the developer who built the property knew it was on a known at risk flood plain"

Off the hook.
All as the EA have to say is----"sorry but the developer who built the property knew it was on a known at risk flood plain" Off the hook. BIGTONE

10:09am Wed 1 Jan 14

Old Colonial says...

BIGTONE wrote:
All as the EA have to say is----"sorry but the developer who built the property knew it was on a known at risk flood plain"

Off the hook.
And rightly so. Flood defences simply move the problem elsewhere. It is time for much stricter controls on development in risky areas.
[quote][p][bold]BIGTONE[/bold] wrote: All as the EA have to say is----"sorry but the developer who built the property knew it was on a known at risk flood plain" Off the hook.[/p][/quote]And rightly so. Flood defences simply move the problem elsewhere. It is time for much stricter controls on development in risky areas. Old Colonial

11:08am Wed 1 Jan 14

BmthNewshound says...

This is going to be an increasingly common problem as long as Councils continue to grant permission to build on land prone to flooding.
.
Its all very well people demanding that the Environment Agency and Councils improve flood defences but the money has come from somewhere. Perhaps people in flood prone areas should be asked to pay a supplement on their Council Tax bills to help pay for the work needed to protect their homes.
.
This is going to be an increasingly common problem as long as Councils continue to grant permission to build on land prone to flooding. . Its all very well people demanding that the Environment Agency and Councils improve flood defences but the money has come from somewhere. Perhaps people in flood prone areas should be asked to pay a supplement on their Council Tax bills to help pay for the work needed to protect their homes. . BmthNewshound

1:36pm Wed 1 Jan 14

muscliffman says...

When people buy or long term lease a property they are strongly advised (or even compelled - if requiring financial assistance) to go through a formal process that includes obtaining a professional surveyors report. It would be fascinating to see what these archived reports have to say about some of these affected riverside properties, especially as the risk of flooding was quite obviously a virtual certainty.
When people buy or long term lease a property they are strongly advised (or even compelled - if requiring financial assistance) to go through a formal process that includes obtaining a professional surveyors report. It would be fascinating to see what these archived reports have to say about some of these affected riverside properties, especially as the risk of flooding was quite obviously a virtual certainty. muscliffman

2:24pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Robbiedoo says...

They say it is bad at this time of year, surely it's bad at any time if year !!
They say it is bad at this time of year, surely it's bad at any time if year !! Robbiedoo

7:08pm Fri 3 Jan 14

YInsider says...

Inside the Environment Agency Whistleblower Blog: http://www.insidethe
environmentagency.co
.uk
Inside the Environment Agency Whistleblower Blog: http://www.insidethe environmentagency.co .uk YInsider

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