Flooding fear on Moss land development

Flooding on the site of the Kensington Developments scheme on Moss House Road. Below - Gordon Marsden MP
Flooding on the site of the Kensington Developments scheme on Moss House Road. Below - Gordon Marsden MP
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Work to prepare land on Marton Moss for a massive housing development has angered residents who claim dykes have been blocked and trees have been unnecessarily removed.

Kensington Developments is readying its site off Moss House Road for the construction of 584 new homes over coming years.

But after initial work led to drainage issues, fears have been raised about how the work is being carried out.

Now Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has written to planning chiefs at Blackpool Council calling on them to ensure the development does not have an adverse impact on existing residents.

He said: “Flooding is the big issue and is really serious if they are cutting across the dykes.

“There is a general feeling that Kensington has not done the things they were supposed to as a result of the conditions put on them, and that the planning department is not pushing them on it.”

In his letter, Mr Marsden raises issues including mud, compaction of the ground and the sinking of vehicles brought to the area by the developer.

Blocked ditches and the unnecessary removal of trees have contributed to a raised water-table and loss of wildlife habitat, it is claimed.

Mr Marsden says as the authority responsible for flood protection, the council has a statutory responsibility particularly in relation to “potential irreversible damage to the complex dyke systems” on the Moss.

He adds in his letter: “I am very perturbed, not just by the list of problems that residents in properties adjacent to the works have been experiencing, but by the apparent inability of your department to be proactive in addressing them.”

However Kensington Developments said its work so far had complied with conditions imposed on it by the council.

Scrub

Managing director Denley Barrow said: “The preparatory works for phase one of the approved development have now been completed.

“These works included the site investigation and archaeological trench recording which required the removal of debris and scrub on land within our ownership between Moss House Road and Progress Way.

“The works have been carried out fully in accordance with planning conditions and current legislation.

“Once we have the results of the investigation we will finalise the building programme prior to commencement of this exciting development.

“The site junction from Progress Way will be built first and all construction and sales traffic will then use this access.

“The early operations will also put into effect the approved strategy to improve local drainage.

“In the meantime we will maintain the existing ditches within our ownership.”

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member with responsibility for planning on Blackpool Council, said: “We are investigating the concerns made by residents and Mr Marsden.

“A robust set of planning conditions are in place and the council will ensure they are met in full by the developer.

“Comprehensive plans for drainage across the site have been agreed which include protecting key ditches throughout the development process.

“Council officers will be monitoring activity on site and are liaising with Kensington
 to ensue residents’ concerns are responded to appropriately.”

Residents of Moss House Road said some of the issues had now been addressed, but said the council needed to keep an eye on the situation.

Angelia Hinds said: “The council gave the planning permission and imposed the conditions, and you can’t do that and expect them to be adhered to unless you crack the whip a little.

“It clearly is the responsibility of the council to make sure if things go wrong, they make sure it is rectified.”