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House building plans will turn Longford 'into a marina'

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 11, 2014

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DEVASTATING floods will only get worse if 570 new homes at Longford are built, residents have said.

Fields designated for the new homes were under water today as dozens of homes across the county were flooded.

Dave Bennett, a Longlevens resident, said: “It is looking more like Longford-on-Sea at the moment. If these houses are built Longford is going to look like a marina.

“The area where the houses are meant to go was flooded. The whole thing needs looking at again.”

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The wider north Gloucester area has been designated as a site for more than 3,000 potential new homes to built by 2031 in the county’s joint core strategy plans.

Alan Fisher, from Longford Lane, said: “I don’t know how people can think to put it there. If they put some concrete down there the water is just going to go elsewhere.”

It comes as volunteers from the Severn Area Rescue Association were kept busy on the River Severn today when they learnt that a group of horses had become stranded on the causeway behind St Oswald’s. They were on dry land but were surrounded by flood waters.

Rescue workers were then tasked with sending supplies to 18 homes at Haw Bridge that have been completely cut off for several days.

Anne Turner, chairman of Tirley Parish Council, said: “Some of the homes are dealing with up to one foot of water and they can’t get out. They were also stranded earlier in January for eight days.”

Food donations from Sainsbury’s were drafted into the village and rescue officials took them up the river to reach the cut-off homes.

Water levels along the River Severn are expected to rise steadily over the coming days – and will come dangerously close to those experienced in the 2007 floods.

In Gloucester levels are 4.6 metres compared to 4.9 metres in 2007, while in Tewkesbury levels have reached 4.8 metres compared to 5.5 metres.

Stroud has fared better. A Stroud District Council spokesman said: “So far our district has not fared as badly as other areas. Sandbags are available and have been collected by residents who need them.”

Flood alerts still remain in place – and the Met Office has issued a warning for snow on Thursday morning as well as more heavy rain throughout the week.

Dave Throup, area manager for the Environment Agency, said: “In Gloucestershire we are expecting to see a very slow rise over the next three days until Friday.

“It is a high level and people need to take a lot of care over the next few days. The unknown at the moment is what affect the rain we are going to get over the next few days is going to have. We are certainly not out of the woods yet.

“It is going to be well into next week before the levels drop off.”

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19 comments

  • nanajean  |  February 13 2014, 4:39PM

    I suppose the councillors who passed the plans don't live there so it won't bother them. Just us who live here and probably flood more.

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  • Brynneth  |  February 13 2014, 9:41AM

    Build on floodplains and either flood the new buildings, or displace the water and flood somewhere else. It's utterly misguided. We need to focus on managing water. More managed wetlands where flooding naturally occurs and more tree planting to slow runoff, and more porous surfaces in developments, will all help. We need long term solutions to long term problems already caused by irresponsible and ill-considered development strategies.

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  • randylearner  |  February 13 2014, 9:25AM

    This is a disgrace, the EA are muppets!

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  • North Glos EPC  |  February 12 2014, 11:12PM

    The county's joint core strategy plan or I hope I can optimistically say at this stage only a proposed plan, is to steal Green Belt to the North of Gloucester on the Eastern side of the A38 and build 3000 houses over coming years. It is the single most stupid irresponsible proposal the "joint core strategy team" has ever devised. Not only does it erode urban sprawl preventing Green belt but the potential for flooding and increased local area flooding is so great as to make the proposal boarder on complete lunacy. Much of the land in question is under water today, it was under water back in 2007 and under water a few years before that. We're hardly talking about once in 100 year events here, we're talking about actually planning for future household misery and devastation, about actually building houses that will quickly become uninsurable and about causing worse flooding to a much larger area because of the soak away land this development will displace. Can't rely on flood defenses they cost money to build and maintain and the maintenance money won't always be there, ask people living along the Thames or in Somerset about flood defense maintenance. I don't know anyone who thinks this proposal is a good idea and plenty I know of have expressed their opposition through the public consultation process (for what that's worth). I can only conclude that if this core strategy plan is adopted someone will be guilty of gross incompetence or something very very suspicious will have taken place. If common sense does not win through and these houses get built my advice, advice from someone who has lived in the area for many years, is don't buy one. You will live to regret it.

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  • jas37  |  February 12 2014, 10:42PM

    Looking at the ratings for my previous factual comment it appears many do not wish to acknowledge the truth. The residents close the Copeland Park development at Tuffley complained (in exactly the same manner) that the new development would increase flooding as the fields in which they were to be built sometimes flooded. The fact is the housing development has drastically decreased any chance of flooding in the area due to the flood alleviation work that accompanied the new houses. I suspect that (going by the rating of my comment) that flooding is not the reason for their objections at all. Could it be due to pure nimbyism by any chance?

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  • Lince  |  February 12 2014, 10:29PM

    To Jas: This is far from a scare story - people can see that the area has become a mix of lakes and bogs at present and has done so several times this winter and before. There is no flood alleviation proposed as you suggest, and anyway it wouldn't cope with the tidal river backing up and streams, ditches and fields all adding to the water which converges here. It's a truly dumb place for major housebuilding and the Joint Core Strategy will need a major rethink on this. A sensible site for major housebuilding is the nearby airport. The airport's accounts are highly revealing. They show it is a troubled business, with no chance of repaying the millions it owes, and pocketing several hundred thousand from the councils each year. The airport can only continue with yet more of our subsidies thrown at it. Housing on the airport is a win-win solution.

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  • Parent51  |  February 12 2014, 10:08PM

    Absolutely ridiculous. If they are built, how much will they cost. Might aswell build in the river.

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  • nedaemch  |  February 12 2014, 3:41PM

    Maybe from the start of Tewkesbury Road to Twigworth, Longford could become a long ford.

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  • Aletheia  |  February 12 2014, 1:31PM

    Here is the logic. You can build on a flood plain and either put up houses that will be subject to future insurance claims which we will all effectively subsidise by increased charges or you can raise the land then build. If you raise the land the water will be displaced and the flood plain area increased. Even if you build the land up to keep the houses dry you would have to also build sewage pipes above ground level as well or that will escape all over the adjoining area when it is flooded. Other services that are buried such as electricity become a problem as well. Why would you continue building in the Severn Valley when you could build up on the Cotswold or in the Forest of Dean. Some might say there must be corruption involved. I couldn't possibly comment.

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  • zalapompadoo  |  February 12 2014, 11:58AM

    instead of building new devlop old unused like above the bus station with work they could be made into cosy apartments ideal location.these buildings are rotting away and look awful make use of them

    Rate   9
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