Safety fears sparked by flood water at dam

WET Flooding at the Giant Steps in Warren Park
WET Flooding at the Giant Steps in Warren Park
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PARENTS are demanding safety measures at a new £2m dam.

There are fears the deep flood water which builds up and slowly drains away, close to a play park, is a danger to children in Warren Park.

Last year, the Environment Agency replaced the old dam, known as the Giant Steps, and built up the banks, creating a small stream and a walkway.

But during heavy periods of rain the new bridge becomes submerged in up to 6ft of water.

Lee Rankin, 37, who lives close to the dam, said: ‘It gets so deep it was half way up a lamp post.

‘There is nothing there to stop young kids running down, slipping on the wet grass on the bank and going straight in.

‘A lot of the parents and myself are a bit worried.

‘Young kids are attracted by water. It’s dangerous.’

Carol Race, of Frogham Green, added: ‘I don’t think anyone anticipated how high or how severe it would be.

‘From the safety aspect it’s dangerous for children and anybody really if they slip. ‘They all play nearby.

‘I won’t let my children out to play anywhere near it, it’s just too deep.

‘And once the water has drained away there is lots of smelly mud left on the bridge which the children have to walk through to get to school.

‘They need to do something about the safety and make sure it’s regularly cleaned.’

Mike O’Neill, area incident manager at the Environment Agency, said the dam was necessary to stop water gushing through and blowing man hole covers across Leigh Park.

He said a residents’ panel was set up during the design phase and they were made aware that the bowl between the banks would be expected to flood in heavy rain.

‘We carried out a risk assessment when it was designed which, if residents are concerned about, I will get that reviewed and looked at to make sure we’ve covered everything,’ said Mr O’Neill.

‘Because it’s being dammed back it’s not fast flowing but a toddler could potentially fall in it.

‘If there are residents that are worried I will get that review.

‘There is an alternative route round because we knew the bridge would flood. It does take longer though.’