The Red Row site at Stocks’ former depot on Ninelands Lane was approved for 241 houses by Leeds City Council towards the end of 2017 despite GFSG’s efforts to have Green Field run-off implemented. The site is brown field, not green field, but Government recommendation for areas like Garforth with lots of clay, making soakaway SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems) untenable and there being no adjacent water course for surface water to drain into, are that greenfield run off should be aspired to, usually by installing large underground holding tanks with valves which control the rate of run-off. Sadly there is a cost loophole meaning that if the developers can indicate that this would be too expensive for them they can opt out but still claim that there is considerable betterment. GFSP is still concerned, especially given the potential foul discharge from so many houses into an overstretched Yorkshire Water system that we have had many problems with over the years. We shall now be watching anxiously every time we have heavy or prolonged rain.
The application to build 6 new dwellings at the site currently occupied by no.7 Wakefield Road recently went to panel but was deferred for a cycle, not because of the flooding problem suffered by many close neighbours and, indeed, catastrophic flooding further down at the junction with Barley Hill Road, nor the permanently soggy fields opposite, but the fact that some of the rooms were perceived to be below regulation spec size. This application had been resubmitted and the original garden which had been denoted as parking space had been restored and the parking put elsewhere. The one redeeming feature had been the restoration of the garden which would act as a natural soak away to some extent. It was now suggested, at Panel, that there was plenty of garden space into which to extend the properties to an acceptable size (to the Panel), ignoring the fact that they would be reducing the size of the available soak away space!
The application to build 8 new properties on the site of the much lamented former clinic on Lidgett Lane has just been turned down largely due to the level of traffic already experienced at this location, especially at school opening and closing times. GFSG had been concerned that the application had completely ignored the substantial flooding that properties in this location have suffered over the years and the fact that there is part of the main surface water drainage course adjacent to the site.
There will no doubt be an appeal or a resubmission but we will be monitoring that very closely.
While GFSG recognises the need for new housing and that the area must accept a reasonable proportion of the numbers that Leeds City Council has designated, consideration must be paramount for existing residents in that their standards of living, in terms of flood risk, must not be diminished.
To this end GFSG will continue to monitor and object, if necessary, to developments that it deems will pose an increased flood risk. This flood risk will generally be caused either by surface water run off and/or surface water getting into foul sewerage, overfacing the capacity and resulting in sewage escapes into gardens and, occasionally, houses. GFSG is concerned that the ageing and piecemeal nature of the existing sewerage infrastructure is not up to coping with the ever increasing number of connection permissions being granted and will continue to agitate for an improved system.
GFSG would appreciate contact being made if anyone has concerns about flooding, either surface water or sewage but emphasises that sewage worries must always be reported to Yorkshire Water (0800573553 or 03451242424).
The Flood Group’s annual Christmas Concert is scheduled for Saturday 16th of December, 7pm at the Miners’ Welfare Hall on Main Street in Garforth.
Tickets are £4 for adults, £2 for children up to 16 and £10 for a family ticket covering 2 adults and 2 children.
The capacity of the flood water storage created on Barley Hill recreation ground several years ago has been increased this year by raising the banks and directing the water collected into a substantial gully and pipe which will control flow-off so that it does not overwhelm the system downstream. Adjacent residents’ concerns regarding privacy are being addressed so that users of the park will not be able to see into these houses from the top of the bank.
Similar work carried out last year at Glebelands playing field has recently been smartened up as a certain amount of damage accrued when work had to be done on very wet ground.
Both sites have demonstrated that they do function to requirement though, thankfully, neither has, as yet, been tested to capacity.
GFSG is constantly active in regard of drainage issues. A busy week has just been experienced with a water mains burst on Selby Road causing considerable flooding in Beck Bottoms and into the back gardens of properties on Highfield Drive, [GFSG followed up a concern that the road surface was extremely lumpy and was assured that this would be dealt with shortly], a persistent odour around a bakery, [YW attended and jetted the offending drain] immediately followed by a burst foul sewer on Ninelands Lane. GFSG was pro-active in encouraging YW to respond as quickly as possible.
GFSG is pleased to announce that a 40yr flooding problem with an old sump to the rear of three properties on White Rose Avenue has been resolved due to the persistence of the residents and GFSG assisted by LCC Flood Risk Management. The razing of the buildings on the Miami site led to the discovery of the missing surface water outfall drain which was jetted and we are now assured is in working order. We await a significant rainfall event to test whether the sump is now indeed operating as intended.