Desperate plea to stop flooding in Cavendish

Arthur Kemp, of Cavendish.
Arthur Kemp, of Cavendish.

A Cavendish resident has accused Suffolk County Council of failing to act after a neighbour’s property was flooded 19 times in five years.

Arthur Kemp lives in Newmans Cottages and often keeps an eye on his neighbour’s property.

Sitting on slightly higher ground, his home has been unaffected, but he repeatedly has to open his garage to force flood water to gather there in an attempt to stave of yet more flooding at his neighbour’s home.

“For five years, we have been fighting flooding here,” said Mr Kemp.

“We have to put sandbags under the friend’s door and allow the water to go into our garage.

“My neighbour has replaced his flooring five times and I’ve been advised to take legal action.”

Mr Kemp said workers from Suffolk County Council had been out to look at the problem, which he believes is caused by a blockage at a culvert near his home.

“We’ve had numerous people with cameras and rods saying things and sucking their teeth, but nothing has been done,” he said.

Two weeks ago, the property flooded for the second time in the five months.

“We have asked [Suffolk County Council] highways and Mary Evans [county councillor for the Clare Division] for a Freedom of Information request for the costing of the experts that have assessed the thing,” added Mr Kemp.

He said he wanted the council to stop thinking, and instead to pick up a pick and shovel and unblock the culvert.

He sayid water collects along Nether Road and comes through to Newmans Cottages where the drains then take all of the surface water.

“It’s not our responsibility, enough is enough,” said Mr Kemp.

He believes a few bricks may have fallen into the culvert and blocked the water course, causing the water to back up as it clears too slowly following heavy rainfall and causing short term flooding.

“After a few hours, it goes away but by then it is too late,” said Mr Kemp.

“I’m 85. I’m too old to be wading through flood water.

“A responsible authority would do something about it.

“It’s increased because there are more houses, it flows down Nether Road like a river, goes into the drain there which then comes into our drain and hits the blocked culvert which should direct it to the River Stour.”

Mr Kemp said his neighbour’s property had flooded 19 times in the last five years, including seven times last year.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Suffolk Highways is working closely with residents at Newmans Cottages to resolve the flooding issue.”

Residents in Long Melford are also investigating land ownership in New Road, where there has been repeated cases of flooding in recent years.