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MP Neil Parish backs Feniton's flood fight
Monday, 03 December 2012
AN emergency flood surgery was set to be held in Feniton Village Hall as Pulman’s View went to press on Monday, December 3rd.
The surgery was to be followed by a meeting, to be attended by councillors, Neil Parish MP and members of Feniton’s action group, about possible flood prevention strategies for the village.
In a joint effort, Devon County Council and the Environment Agency – supported by district and town councils and South West Water – organised sessions in selected locations after the recent wet weather.
Feniton was badly hit and one resident described the village as “one big pool of water”.
The surgery sessions were organised to give those affected – individuals and businesses alike – a chance to speak directly to local authorities and agencies. A Devon County Council (EDDC) spokesperson added: “It will also give the councils and the Environment Agency the opportunity to gather information about the flooding incidents.”
County councillor Stuart Hughes, who is the chairman the Devon Flood Risk Management Partnership and DCC councillor for Highways and Transportation, said prior to the session: “Communities have had their lives turned upside down by this recent flooding and while we are all left facing the prospect of months of disruption, we obviously hope everyone can get back to normality as soon as possible.
“With the sheer volume of rainfall in such a short space of time it’s difficult to say what could have been done to prevent such widespread flooding, but lessons can always be learned.
“We’re here to listen and we hope people will take the opportunity of attending these drop-in events to tell us what their concerns are, what they saw happen and what the response was.”
The surgery comes as the village’s ongoing problem with flooding is gaining national news coverage following the recent decision to allow Wainhomes to build 50 new homes on land adjacent to Louvigny Close, after the Government’s Planning Inspectorate overruled both EDDC and the local development plan to give it the go-ahead.
The village has been ‘under seige’ from developers with three planning applications made for various sites, including the most recent at Acland Park which was turned down by EDDC.
Work on the Wainhomes site is set to begin this month but following the most recent flooding in the village there are fresh calls, supported by Neil Parish MP, for the development appeal decision to be reviewed.
In a letter to Sir Michael Pitt, chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate, Neil Parish said:?“The residents of Feniton, along with myself, are totally amazed by this decision to allow Wainhomes to build 50 new homes in the village.
“Feniton has been deluged in 2007 and 2008 where there were residents stranded in bungalows and they had to go into their lofts in order to escape floodwaters; a hugely frightening experience from some elderly residents as you can well imagine.
“Even at this very late stage I would ask you to fully investigate why your inspector would allow this site to be developed with all the flooding problems and infrastructure restraints, along with the lack of school places. The decision seems to be totally contrary to any form of common sense!”
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