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Great Cornard residents criticise inaction of authorities after scrambling to fight off floods near homes

Flooding risks in and around Sudbury were brought into sharp focus after residents scrambled to stop rising water from entering their homes over the rainy festive period.

Homeowners in Great Cornard had to act as water levels rapidly increased the Friday before Christmas, when dozens of Met Office flood warnings were issued across England, following a prolonged spell of heavy rainfall.

Portions of Blackhouse Lane and Prospect Hill flooded during this time, with residents successfully keeping the water out of their properties by using garden tools to divert a large volume of run-off water into the nearby moat in Wells Hall Road.

Flooding in the east of England in December 2019. Picture credit: Mark Bullimore Photography. (24861292)
Flooding in the east of England in December 2019. Picture credit: Mark Bullimore Photography. (24861292)

The Sudbury and Great Cornard Surface Water Management Plan published last year concluded that the area faces a moderate to high risk of flooding from surface water and sewer flooding, especially as rainfall increases with climate change.

But Ray Barry, of Horse Pond Close, claimed there has been a lack of action to address the issue from local authorities, such as Babergh District Council, Suffolk County Council, the Environment Agency and Anglian Water, as flood water built up throughout December.

He argued the problem could be exacerbated further, if housing proposals in the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Local Plan, including a potential large-scale development at Tye Farm, are brought into reality, because they could add to the surface water run-off.

“If these developments take place, Great Cornard will experience what happened at Fishlake on the river Don in November,” claimed Mr Barry.

“The inaction of people in the authorities needs exposing. One person in Blackhouse Lane has had to pump sewage out of her garden almost every day for a month and she needs help to get it stopped.”

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