It is a matter of great concern that the development of the Key Syke Lane and Derdale Street site, as reported in the Todmorden News, is going ahead without any improvement to the sewage and drainage system of the Halifax Road area and that the developers are seeking to intensify the development.
Since 2000 households in the Halifax Road area have suffered, on average, flooding every three years.
The main cause is the inability of the Victorian combined sewage and drainage system to cope with storm surges and consequent backing up of the effluent in the drains.
Flooding by this contaminated effluent is damaging to property and a hazard to health.
Developments such as this can only aggravate the situation by increasing the amount of water borne waste put into the system and by increasing the amount of instant run off through the replacement of vegetated areas, which absorb some of the rainfall, with hard surfaces of concrete, tarmac and tile.
There is an urgent need to increase the amount of soft surfaces and vegetation to absorb rainfall. There should be an embargo on developments which add to the sewage/drainage in the Todmorden area until the outdated combined sewage and drainage system is replaced.
Sadly, Coun Battye does not appear to appreciate the problem or does not empathise with the residents who have suffered and are still at risk to sewage contaminated flooding. Future storm surges and consequent floodings are inevitable.
Great efforts are being made by the Todmorden Flood Group, Calderdale Council Officers and Environmental Agency staff to develop Flood Action Plans and improve the resilience of properties. However ill-considered developments like this are only adding to the problem.
Councillors must act on behalf of the existing residents and stop developments which add to their risk. They should also try to persuade Yorkshire Water to engage in meaningful discussions regarding the antiquated combined sewage and drainage system.
Dr Ken Davies