Residents hit back in flood protection bid

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

The landlord of a house in East Street in Sudbury has called for an urgent investigation by to find the cause of repeated flooding.

The road was badly flooded after a sudden downpour at the end of last month, leaving many homes under several feet of water and needing extensive repairs.

At last week’s Sudbury Town Council meeting, landlord Paul Johnson said: “I would like to raise our extreme concerns about the problems encountered with the reoccurring floods.

“Although the flash flood may have been unprecedented, we have nevertheless experienced many more, not to mention near misses, in the past.

“We don’t expect it to be a high-risk flood area – it’s not by a river or on a flood plain.”

Mr Johnson, who has started a petition in protest, said that around 20 properties had been damaged by flood water.

“This is not only devastating for the residents, but disrupting, inconvenient, costly and carries a health risk,” he said.

Mr Johnson said that one resident of East Street, Edward Pilbury, had been forced to leave his home due to flood damage on four occasions, which equated to once every five years.

“This is totally unacceptable,” he said.

Mr Johnson criticised the action taken by both Suffolk County Council and Babergh District Council to stop the floods in the first place.

He described the county council’s promise to carry out work on the drains as “after the horse had bolted.”

Workman were seen in East Street on Thursday after the district council gave the instruction for the gullies to be cleared.

Before this, water levels could be seen up to the drain covers, said Mr Johnson, with stagnant, foul-smelling water.

The landlord felt a thorough investigation of the drains was needed to check for major blockages or collapses in the system.

He also asked for Babergh to provide appropriate flood protection for residents.

Householders are currently given flimsy wooden boards to stop flood water from entering their properties, he said, adding that Babergh should invest in hi-tech, self-closing flood gates.

“The council has a vested interest to protect its assets,” he said.

In response, a district council spokesman said that officers had visited residents to check on the properties and give advice.

The spokesman confirmed that, since the last floods, many homes no longer had flood boards –a point the authority would look to rectify.

He added that a joint investigation with Suffolk County Council would be carried out once five or more flood reports had been received.