MP sees flood problems on visit to villages

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BETTER water defences and less development is needed to stop flood water getting into properties.

That’s the message being given by residents in Hambledon.

(l-r) MP George Hollingbery talking to Janie Blott (49) and her husband James Blott (61), at their home in Inner West Street in Hambledon.  Picture: Sarah Standing (1333-594)

(l-r) MP George Hollingbery talking to Janie Blott (49) and her husband James Blott (61), at their home in Inner West Street in Hambledon. Picture: Sarah Standing (1333-594)

George Hollingbery, MP for Meon Valley, visited Rowlands Castle and Hambledon, to see at first hand the measures people are taking to stop groundwater getting into homes and businesses.

Janie Blott, 49, and her husband James Blott, 61, have lived in The Rest, Inner West Street, Hambledon, for 19 years.

Mrs Blott, a human resources manager, said: ‘Since we’ve been here the house has flooded five times.

‘As a result we have had to reconfigure our house to try and stop water getting in.

‘Our cellars used to be a study and dining room, but now it’s just wasted space as water gets in.

‘There has also been a devaluation of the property.

‘I think there needs to be better support for extra water and less development, as the existing structure can’t cope.’

And these thoughts were echoed by Paul Johnston, of West Street, Hambledon.

He said: ‘We need to have larger pipes to take away excess water, at the moment the pipe is nine inches and it’s not enough.’

Mr Hollingbery said he will be raising issues heard with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency (EA).

He said: ‘The most encouraging thing I have seen is how the community has come together and stop water coming in as much as possible.

‘But there’s only so much they can do.

‘I’m going to report this to Defra and the EA and see if we can manage this problem in the long term.’

A spokesman for the EA said: ‘We are working with Southern Water across Hampshire and Sussex in tackling the high groundwater and sewerage issues, and helping to find a long-term solution to this historic problem.’

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