Concerns raised over flooding as report finds Wickham’s system to be ‘aged’

Flooding at the start of the A32 as it joins School Road in Wickham
Flooding at the start of the A32 as it joins School Road in Wickham
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FRESH concerns have been raised over flooding in an historic market town as an official report found the system to be ‘overloaded, ageing and not well understood’.

Wickham Society and Wickham Residents’ Association both voiced their concern that additional development in the town, plus extra traffic, will exacerbate the situation.

At a Winchester City Council meeting last week, they called for building to be halted until the sewage and drainage systems are upgraded.

These calls come on the back of the findings of an independent report commissioned by Hampshire County Council, which is in charge of surface water in Wickham.

Anton Hanney, chairman of Wickham Residents’ Association, said that while he welcomed the report and action from the council, he still had ‘serious misgivings’ about the report’s findings.

He said: ‘The independent flood investigation report shows there is no confidence that Wickham’s drainage system currently has the capacity to support any new development.

‘We welcome the fact that the report’s main recommendations have been accepted by the council and that a collaborative action plan is being undertaken.’

However, he added: ‘We’re concerned that the people and the village could be put in harm’s way due to the understandable pressure to develop.’

Mr Hanney said he wanted to see a commitment to tackling flooding, before any more development took place.

Chairman of the Wickham Society Mike Carter said society members were concerned about traffic and that development had been permitted in the wrong place.

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery, who spoke out about the issue of flooding in Wickham last year, said he would be studying the report’s findings, before setting up meetings with both councils and Southern Water.