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Furious Louth residents left facing uncertain future after homes flood

By Louth Target  |  Posted: July 04, 2012

  • FLOOD FURY: Residents of Riverhead, Louth, are angry over the recent flooding, inset. From left, John Foulsham, Marcia Foulsham, Mark Nicholson, Sam Nelson and Steve Girling. Picture: Sadie Russell

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ANGRY residents face uncertainty because they do not know when they can return to houses devastated by flooding.

Eight homes in Riverhead, Louth, were overcome by flood waters on Thursday.

Chairman of the Riverhead Residents' Association John Foulsham has blamed a new housing development for exacerbating the problem.

A county planning inspector gave permission to Persimmon Homes to build 70 new homes adjoining the furious residents' cottages.

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Mr Foulsham, 71, claimed Persimmon had raised the ground level for the new development, and he believes it was this that had caused water to gush into their homes when the heavy rainfall came.

A number of them are now living in log cabins at Kenwick Hotel until they can return.

Now, the council said a review of the development against the approved plans is underway.

Mr Foulsham said he and his wife Marcia, 61, had invested £10,000 in their property since moving in eight years ago.

Marcia is recovering from treatment for cancer and had become stressed by the floods and the sight and smell of raw sewage flooding into their home.

Three of the cottages were devastated in the floods of June 2007.

Mr Foulsham claimed: "This was totally avoidable. We fought the plans and warned there would be flooding.

"The land being developed is now above ours, but before it was below and there was no problem."

A spokesman for East Lindsey District Council said: "Plans were approved by a planning inspector through an inquiry following refusal by the district council.

"Following last week's flooding, local residents have asked the council to review the development against the approved plans and this work is already underway.

"We are currently supporting those affected by the recent flooding to help them with their immediate needs."

Andrew Bowes, managing director of Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: "We're very sorry to hear of the damage caused to the homes near our Riverhead development.

"Like most of the region, we've suffered from freak weather conditions.

"All work has gone through the correct planning and legal channels and has been approved by the authorities."

Antony Innes, of Anglian Water, said: "The capacity of our sewers in this part of Louth was recently increased to ensure they could cope with new properties built in the area, during normal conditions.

"This is clearly a very difficult situation for the properties involved and we appreciate their frustration."

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  July 04 2012, 10:54PM

    The article sows confusion by not stressing the difference between Riverhead and Riverhead Road. Many of the photographs suggest it was the houses on the higher ground that were flooded, while the text says the damage was on the lower ground. I have some suspicions about which homes were more likely to have been flooded, but would have hoped that a local journalist could have clarified the issues.

  • moonferret  |  July 04 2012, 5:59PM

    This was very predictable. The new homes should not have been built there. I wouldn't want to live there in any case; surely the residents appreciated the risk when they moved in?