Investigation opened into why and how houses in Northampton street were flooded

Residents have been demanding that an investigation be opened after their homes were flooded during heavy rain in Northampton

By Logan MacLeod
Friday, 4th June 2021, 4:37 pm

An investigation has been opened into why and how residents living in a Northampton street had their houses flooded.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) said it has started the process of looking into why neighbours in Briar Hill Walk, Briar Hill, were left scrambling to keep water out of their homes last month (Thursday, May 13).

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to incident and said they had to remove 'excess water' from two properties.

The unhappy Briar Hill Walk residents want answers and solutions after the flooding last month Photo: Leila Coker

Jon Reeve, who lives on the street, said last month: "I was shocked. I was shocked about the volume of water cascading down the street."

Immediately after the incident, the residents told the Chronicle and Echo heavy rainfall alone should not have caused such bad flooding and were demanding that an investigation be carried out.

And now, WNC has started to look into what caused the flooding.

A WNC spokeswoman said: “The council is still in the process of investigating the flooding to ensure that all contributing factors are assessed. This was an extreme event where flash flooding, which included only surface water, unfortunately impacted a number of homes and families at Briar Hill Walk.

“As part of our investigation and following concerns expressed by residents, we have included the development at Lancaster Road to assess if this could have contributed to the issues experienced on the day."

The council continued: "Our initial investigation has identified that whilst the full drainage system was not yet in place, a significant element of the infrastructure had been constructed in line with the phasing.

"The council, as part of the planning process, is only responsible for ensuring that the final development has adequate drainage to minimise the risk of flooding into the future, unfortunately we do not have either the remit or powers to consider the construction phase of the development which is the responsibility of the developer."

The spokeswoman said that once the investigation is complete residents will be notified.

"Until this point it would be wrong to speculate on the outcomes,” the council added.

The developer has been approached for comment.

Delapre and Briar Hill councillor Emma Roberts said she welcomes the investigation.

The councillor said: "I welcome a thorough investigation into all aspects of the flooding to include the development and I have called for a full inspection of all drainage systems on site and an investigation into how they work.

"Whilst I understand the remit of the council, for many of us who have been dealing with the site for some time, absolute assurance with evidence must be provided to take away the residents' fears.

"The exact rainfall figures are not yet available but I don’t believe the rain was that heavy. I am concerned, as many already were, that the drainage just can’t cope with all of these extra changes."