Although Chris Lumley has stepped down from the District Council, he is still a Town Councillor. He wrote the following letter to the Echo last week, which is worth repeating here:
In response to Mrs Kendallís letter of 23rd I would like to point out that it is not only recent development that has caused flash flooding in west Rayleigh. There was serious flash flooding in 1968 and again in 1972. With the latter I remember witnessing the flooding of some of the very same houses in Victoria Ave that fell victim this time. This of course was before the development of Pearsons Farm. Shortly after larger sewers were installed in London Road.
However that was 40 years ago and since then we have had at least 6 estates built off London Road.
Whilst serving on the District Council for the Grange ward I constantly asked if all the estates drained into the 1970s London Road sewer and was this considered adequate.
I never received a satisfactory answer.
The latest heavy rain storm I witnessed from my window the London Road became a fast flowing river in less than an hour and the manhole covers burst open with even more water flowing out into the road. All this was a repeat of the previous August when the drains could not cope with the deluge.
The Rayleigh Action group are right to call for a halt to the further development proposed off London Road.
Flash flooding when it occurs twice in a year should add a new dimension and be factored into the Local Plan.
It would seem that there should be considerable financial investment in the infrastructure of roadways and drainage in a large area before consideration is given to expanding Rayleigh to the west.