Action promised over flooding in Wickham

Flooding at the start of the A32 as it joins with School Road, Wickham
Flooding at the start of the A32 as it joins with School Road, Wickham

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ACTION has been promised to tackle flooding problems in a historic market town.

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery has helped to force Southern Water into publishing its Drainage Action Plan (DAP) for Wickham, identifying sewerage flooding problems the village will face in years to come.

The document looks at an area’s drainage system and models the potential impact of future development on the performance of sewers, but it is not usually released to the general public.

Mr Hollingbery liaised with residents’ groups and co-ordinated a joint letter with local councils to Matthew Wright, the chief executive of Southern Water, to ask for an exception to be made.

Many parts of Wickham, but particularly Riverside Mews, have been plagued by sewerage problems because, as the village has grown, the system has struggled to cope.

Mr Hollingbery said: ‘Mr Wright made clear it Wickham was a special case regarding to the publishing of this document because residents have suffered with sewerage in their homes and gardens after heavy rain for some years.

‘I’ve always been clear that no further development should be allowed in Wickham unless these issues are tackled.

‘Winchester City Council has listened to these concerns and included policies in the local plan to improve the situation.

‘I’m delighted that Southern Water is taking this issue seriously. Its co-operation in releasing the plan is most appreciated because having this information in the public domain should lead to a proper debate on what must happen next.’

The drainage action plan was included in the evidence used by the planning inspector to assess Winchester City Council’s local plan, which will set out where houses can be built up to 2031.

Cllr Patricia Stallard, who represents Wickham on Hampshire County Council, worked with Mr Hollingbery to get the plan released.

She said: ‘I am very pleased that the DAP has been released. Hopefully we will now be able to move forward at greater speed to resolve Wickham’s flooding problems. I will of course continue to work closely with local residents on this matter.’