Developer proposes '˜worst possible site' for new homes in Halton, says drainage expert

Plans to build 66 new homes on farmland in Halton have been described as 'stupid' by one resident.

Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 10:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 10:29 am
Site of 66 proposed new homes on farmland in Kirkby Lonsdale Road, Halton

Kendal based Russell Armer Homes have applied to build the new development on farmland off Kirkby Lonsdale Road, to the rear of Pointer Grove.

But one resident, Stuart Jackson of Harrowdale Park, said: “Building these houses at the top of the village is stupid.

“With all the roads and driveways the water has nowhere to go but down the village.”

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Drainage expert Charles Ainger has also waded in on the argument.

He said: “Russell Armer have now planned for extra drainage on the site, but there are still serious doubts about the overall drainage capacity along the High Road, so it remains the worst possible site in the village to build new houses.”

Another resident said the development would “remove natural soakaway for rainwater.”

Halton has been hit badly by flooding over the past three years, with many properties affected by heavy rainfall running off the fells into the River Lune, and a drainage system that has struggled to cope with capacity.

A flood risk assessment and drainage strategy commissioned by Russell Armer Homes has concluded that “the site is considered to be at low risk of flooding from sewers, groundwater, canals, reservoirs or other artificial sources”, but “it is concluded the culverted watercourse that drains the site and upland catchment currently poses a High risk of surface water flooding”.

The developer has proposed a series of measures to mitigate flooding, including “a blue-green corridor, which will be formed using a series of cascading detention basins, with the existing culvert opened to create a permanent watercourse running through”.

Foul water drainage from the development will discharge into the combined sewer within High Road at the junction of High Road and Schoolhouse Lane.

The developer has also said that a 40 per cent affordable housing target would “place an unacceptable burden on the delivery of the site as a whole” and has proposed six affordable homes, mainly apartments, instead.

Halton City Coun Kevin Frea said: “When Russell Armer got outline planning permission they were going to build 26 ‘affordable’ homes.

“Now suddenly, a year later with no changes to the plans, they can’t afford any but are building six as a ‘favour’.

“This is totally unacceptable and yet another example of developers gaming the system.

“Any extra cost should come off the price they pay for the land, not the affordable homes quota.”

A public meeting about the plans will be held at The Centre in Halton at 3.15pm on Sunday November 25.