VIDEO: "We're like the land that time forgot", say residents of flood-hit block of flats

WATER RISES: Conifer Close resident Eric Matthews stands in the flood waters that now surround his block of flats

WATER RISES: Conifer Close resident Eric Matthews stands in the flood waters that now surround his block of flats

First published in News
Last updated
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RESIDENTS of three blocks of flats which were surrounded by floodwater feel they are living in “the land that time forgot”.

Four households fled their homes on Christmas Day after water poured into ground floor flats at Stourbanks in Conifer Gardens, Christchurch.

The remaining 18 flats were visited by police late on Sunday night and residents were warned to leave.

Upstairs resident Paul Richards said: “They were now advising the upstairs people to go because there was probably going to be five feet of floodwater in the downstairs block which would take out the mains electricity.”

Mr Richards said the residents were not given somewhere else to go like the evacuated residents of nearby Iford Bridge. They had only received one visit from a council official.

“We’re like the land that time forgot here,” he said.

Ground floor resident Eric Matthews was among those whose home has been wrecked by foul-smelling water. He said he was woken by Mr Richards at 4.30am on Christmas Day as the floodwater rose.

“Twenty minutes or half an hour later we were wading in it. It was streaming through the front,” he said.

“People got all the furniture out as best they could, wading through everything. They got all the carpets up.

“We just left then and I’m staying at the Premier Inn.”

Mr Richards said the flats should be given better flood protection.

“I think about 25-30 years ago a feasibility study was carried out on getting a bund put in. I would have bitten their hand off but residents at the time said no because it would spoil their views of the river,” he said.

“If the bund isn’t put in, if people lose their contents insurance and if we lose our buildings insurance, eventually the people living here will lose their homes because they won’t be able to live here.”

Neil Farmer, strategic director for Christchurch and East Dorset councils, said in a statement: “In our role as a category one responder in support of the emergency services, we have responded to requests for help from residents of Conifer Close as promptly as we can once made aware.”

Comments (22)

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7:18am Tue 7 Jan 14

itsneverblackorwhite says...

Outrageous comment from the council, you know where the worst affected areas are and should be pro-active in supporting residents ad not waiting for residents to contact you, get out of your offices and help your residents!
Outrageous comment from the council, you know where the worst affected areas are and should be pro-active in supporting residents ad not waiting for residents to contact you, get out of your offices and help your residents! itsneverblackorwhite
  • Score: 20

7:42am Tue 7 Jan 14

nickynoodah says...

like I said many many times
bedsit and flat dwellers
are forgotten
they need help now to day
a simple bund would have saved all this misery.
my heart bleeds.
like I said many many times bedsit and flat dwellers are forgotten they need help now to day a simple bund would have saved all this misery. my heart bleeds. nickynoodah
  • Score: -20

8:02am Tue 7 Jan 14

Telscombe Cliffy says...

I would say bad building/planning. Those flats aren't that old and should have been built higher. Did they flood in 1979? If they were built 1metre higher would have been no problem.
I would say bad building/planning. Those flats aren't that old and should have been built higher. Did they flood in 1979? If they were built 1metre higher would have been no problem. Telscombe Cliffy
  • Score: 17

8:18am Tue 7 Jan 14

spooki says...

Funny because we called the council yesterday about some weather related repairs and was told they guy had today free for appointments...
Funny because we called the council yesterday about some weather related repairs and was told they guy had today free for appointments... spooki
  • Score: 8

8:22am Tue 7 Jan 14

Lord Spring says...

Who was the developer and also the architect who applied for a grant of planning.
Who was the developer and also the architect who applied for a grant of planning. Lord Spring
  • Score: 12

8:22am Tue 7 Jan 14

KKen96 says...

"I think about 25-30 years ago a feasibility study was carried out on getting a bund put in. I would have bitten their hand off but residents at the time said no because it would spoil their views of the river"
"I think about 25-30 years ago a feasibility study was carried out on getting a bund put in. I would have bitten their hand off but residents at the time said no because it would spoil their views of the river" KKen96
  • Score: 46

9:02am Tue 7 Jan 14

justme20092009 says...

stop moaning,its a bit of rain many countrys have much worse
stop moaning,its a bit of rain many countrys have much worse justme20092009
  • Score: 33

9:11am Tue 7 Jan 14

spooki says...

"residents at the time said no because it would spoil their views of the river," well you can see the river now can't you? How stupid to refuse flood barrier type help just because it will spoil the view. Perhaps the man staying in the Premier Inn should give those who refused his bill?
"residents at the time said no because it would spoil their views of the river," well you can see the river now can't you? How stupid to refuse flood barrier type help just because it will spoil the view. Perhaps the man staying in the Premier Inn should give those who refused his bill? spooki
  • Score: 61

9:33am Tue 7 Jan 14

BIGTONE says...

Neil Farmer, strategic director for Christchurch and East Dorset councils, said in a statement: “In our role as a category one responder in support of the emergency services, we have responded to requests for help from residents of Conifer Close as promptly as we can once made aware.”


Other speak......just keep paying your taxes like compliant citizens and we will fit you in when we can.
Neil Farmer, strategic director for Christchurch and East Dorset councils, said in a statement: “In our role as a category one responder in support of the emergency services, we have responded to requests for help from residents of Conifer Close as promptly as we can once made aware.” Other speak......just keep paying your taxes like compliant citizens and we will fit you in when we can. BIGTONE
  • Score: 9

9:38am Tue 7 Jan 14

FlamingCarbuncle says...

So when these residents bought/rented these properties did they not notice the close proximity to the river? did they not pay for a property survey? Did their solicitor not make them aware of the vicinity of the river?
When looking at a map during a recent visit to a geography classroom at BSG this summer my 10 year old daughter was asked what problems could arise from living too close to the Stour and she immediately answered the houses could flood, note 10 years old!
So if there are to be works carried out to protect these properties from future flooding why should the council, or to be more precise the taxpayer, be responsible for paying?
So when these residents bought/rented these properties did they not notice the close proximity to the river? did they not pay for a property survey? Did their solicitor not make them aware of the vicinity of the river? When looking at a map during a recent visit to a geography classroom at BSG this summer my 10 year old daughter was asked what problems could arise from living too close to the Stour and she immediately answered the houses could flood, note 10 years old! So if there are to be works carried out to protect these properties from future flooding why should the council, or to be more precise the taxpayer, be responsible for paying? FlamingCarbuncle
  • Score: 122

9:58am Tue 7 Jan 14

paulfrichards says...

Ref Flaming Carbuncle
The council approved building on the basis that the site was above flooding level.
Legal searches at time of purchase prove this.
I have lived there for almost 20 years and this has never happened.
To the sympathetic: Thank you very much.
To the others: I fear we live in a society with too many people who only think of themselves. I hope that they do not suffer any problems in their lives, or that if they do, they will not expect help from the community.
Their attitude is one of 'I don't drive therefore I should no have to contribute to roads'. They have no compassion for the human species.
Ref Flaming Carbuncle The council approved building on the basis that the site was above flooding level. Legal searches at time of purchase prove this. I have lived there for almost 20 years and this has never happened. To the sympathetic: Thank you very much. To the others: I fear we live in a society with too many people who only think of themselves. I hope that they do not suffer any problems in their lives, or that if they do, they will not expect help from the community. Their attitude is one of 'I don't drive therefore I should no have to contribute to roads'. They have no compassion for the human species. paulfrichards
  • Score: -97

10:07am Tue 7 Jan 14

whataboutthat says...

"The council approved building on the basis that the site was above flooding level.
Legal searches at time of purchase prove this."

Yeah but when you can see the river from your front room window and it's only a few feet of slope betewen your property and the river might the idea of exceptional flooding not occur?
"The council approved building on the basis that the site was above flooding level. Legal searches at time of purchase prove this." Yeah but when you can see the river from your front room window and it's only a few feet of slope betewen your property and the river might the idea of exceptional flooding not occur? whataboutthat
  • Score: 57

10:16am Tue 7 Jan 14

uvox44 says...

“If the bund isn’t put in, if people lose their contents insurance and if we lose our buildings insurance, eventually the people living here will lose their homes because they won’t be able to live here.”

Shame it's under EDDC , I'm sure Bournemouth Council would be there like a shot as soon as bungs were mentioned, oh sorry misread that , it's bunds...
“If the bund isn’t put in, if people lose their contents insurance and if we lose our buildings insurance, eventually the people living here will lose their homes because they won’t be able to live here.” Shame it's under EDDC , I'm sure Bournemouth Council would be there like a shot as soon as bungs were mentioned, oh sorry misread that , it's bunds... uvox44
  • Score: 3

10:45am Tue 7 Jan 14

FlamingCarbuncle says...

paulfrichards wrote:
Ref Flaming Carbuncle
The council approved building on the basis that the site was above flooding level.
Legal searches at time of purchase prove this.
I have lived there for almost 20 years and this has never happened.
To the sympathetic: Thank you very much.
To the others: I fear we live in a society with too many people who only think of themselves. I hope that they do not suffer any problems in their lives, or that if they do, they will not expect help from the community.
Their attitude is one of 'I don't drive therefore I should no have to contribute to roads'. They have no compassion for the human species.
On the contrary I have every sympathy, however, we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our property, not expect others to do it for them.
[quote][p][bold]paulfrichards[/bold] wrote: Ref Flaming Carbuncle The council approved building on the basis that the site was above flooding level. Legal searches at time of purchase prove this. I have lived there for almost 20 years and this has never happened. To the sympathetic: Thank you very much. To the others: I fear we live in a society with too many people who only think of themselves. I hope that they do not suffer any problems in their lives, or that if they do, they will not expect help from the community. Their attitude is one of 'I don't drive therefore I should no have to contribute to roads'. They have no compassion for the human species.[/p][/quote]On the contrary I have every sympathy, however, we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our property, not expect others to do it for them. FlamingCarbuncle
  • Score: 92

12:24pm Tue 7 Jan 14

susan.b says...

Yes, Telscombe Cliffy, the flats did flood in 1979. I was living in one of the first floor flats at the time and the ground floor flats were flooded with about 2 feet of water.
Yes, Telscombe Cliffy, the flats did flood in 1979. I was living in one of the first floor flats at the time and the ground floor flats were flooded with about 2 feet of water. susan.b
  • Score: 4

12:32pm Tue 7 Jan 14

wokboy60 says...

...and the clue to it all is in the phrase " A bund was proposed to try to relieve flooding ...but residents were against as it would spoil their view ! " Like the folks at Iford Caravan Park , tell them that to try to stop flooding ,the site will have to be surrounded by a huge concrete wall completely destroying their view .......and I think we all know what the answer will be ! If you live by water then at some point in your life the water is going to get in to your living space , its inevitable . The only thing that has changed ,with regard to that, is that the Compensation Culture Rules !! , blame everybody else for whatever the misfortune is ....and try to get something for nothing. One more reason as well for the almost hysterical pronouncements from the Environment Agency over the last few days to try to deflect any blame ie compensation claims ..."danger to life " my **** , to be in danger at Iford you would have to be laying face down on the tarmac and breathing very deeply........! Stop the mass hysteria , its been a bit of heavy rain , its going now .....snow will be here soon to get us all panicking again ! ........Good job we dont get Winters every year !!!!!
...and the clue to it all is in the phrase " A bund was proposed to try to relieve flooding ...but residents were against as it would spoil their view ! " Like the folks at Iford Caravan Park , tell them that to try to stop flooding ,the site will have to be surrounded by a huge concrete wall completely destroying their view .......and I think we all know what the answer will be ! If you live by water then at some point in your life the water is going to get in to your living space , its inevitable . The only thing that has changed ,with regard to that, is that the Compensation Culture Rules !! , blame everybody else for whatever the misfortune is ....and try to get something for nothing. One more reason as well for the almost hysterical pronouncements from the Environment Agency over the last few days to try to deflect any blame ie compensation claims ..."danger to life " my **** , to be in danger at Iford you would have to be laying face down on the tarmac and breathing very deeply........! Stop the mass hysteria , its been a bit of heavy rain , its going now .....snow will be here soon to get us all panicking again ! ........Good job we dont get Winters every year !!!!! wokboy60
  • Score: 54

12:44pm Tue 7 Jan 14

BarrHumbug says...

The Land that Time Forgot - very apt considering the average age of Christchurch residents?
The Land that Time Forgot - very apt considering the average age of Christchurch residents? BarrHumbug
  • Score: 5

4:01pm Tue 7 Jan 14

GeorgeW64 says...

He looks like he was in the film too.
He looks like he was in the film too. GeorgeW64
  • Score: 1

5:30pm Tue 7 Jan 14

stevobath says...

Shows the mentality of people...Flood prevention & still near the river etc but with dry home or lovely view but an obvious danger of flooding.

Can't have your cake & eat it then moan when it goes wrong.
Build homes on natural flood plains & eventually nature will bite you on the arse.
Answer is buy a home built in a suitable area instead of paying a premium for living by the river.
Shows the mentality of people...Flood prevention & still near the river etc but with dry home or lovely view but an obvious danger of flooding. Can't have your cake & eat it then moan when it goes wrong. Build homes on natural flood plains & eventually nature will bite you on the arse. Answer is buy a home built in a suitable area instead of paying a premium for living by the river. stevobath
  • Score: 53

5:54pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Derf says...

let's see, you move into a building called 'Stour Banks' and wonder why it gets wet in winter?
let's see, you move into a building called 'Stour Banks' and wonder why it gets wet in winter? Derf
  • Score: 55

5:57pm Tue 7 Jan 14

stevobath says...

Oh.
If it's 'The Land That Time Forgot', where are the dinosaurs & giant ferns etc?
All I see is a miserable looking bloke with a large puddle in the background. Talk about exaggeration......
Oh. If it's 'The Land That Time Forgot', where are the dinosaurs & giant ferns etc? All I see is a miserable looking bloke with a large puddle in the background. Talk about exaggeration...... stevobath
  • Score: 59

6:47pm Tue 7 Jan 14

middle aged woman says...

Telscombe Cliffy wrote:
I would say bad building/planning. Those flats aren't that old and should have been built higher. Did they flood in 1979? If they were built 1metre higher would have been no problem.
They were last flooded in 1972.
[quote][p][bold]Telscombe Cliffy[/bold] wrote: I would say bad building/planning. Those flats aren't that old and should have been built higher. Did they flood in 1979? If they were built 1metre higher would have been no problem.[/p][/quote]They were last flooded in 1972. middle aged woman
  • Score: 0

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