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David looking at the flash flooding issues at Ralph's drive
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Localised Flooding at Ralph’s Drive

Localised flooding is an ongoing issue for residents where the developer, land owner and Shropshire Council blame each other and refuse to talk. It is a compound issue where Shropshire Council has failed on the planning front, and the developer failed on the design front. 

David reported on the flash flooding on the 29th of October 2023.

From a design perspective, the end of the road is in a depression. The developer raised the land on the adjacent Public Open Space (POS) area with waste soil. This exacerbated the problem, disrupting the natural drainage pattern. The development design didn’t have a sufficient Sustainable Urban Drainage scheme (SUDs). Something Shropshire Council should have picked up on during the planning process. SUDs allow runoff from hard surfaces to be managed and retained on site, slowing the flow and easing the burden on local drainage. Rainfall is released slowly from the SUDs system, stopping localised flash flooding and easing pressure on wider downstream flooding issues. 

Meanwhile, the parish council was approached to take on the maintenance of the POS land. The parish council declined until the ambiguity of the status of the land was resolved. “Should the POS status be resolved, then I am sure the PC would be better positioned to take on the land.” David said. It will take some engineering to fix this issue. “The land owner of the POS has suggested putting in a new ditch, but it needs a sustainable solution to slow the flow rather than passing the problem downstream,” David said.

David looking at the latest flash flooding at Ralph’s Drive at the end of October.
Without Sustainable urban drainage schemes, these flooding problems will only increase with climate change.

The adjacent land should be a Public Open Space land according to the planning application for Ralph’s Drive, except it isn’t. Shropshire Council cocked up the initial outline planning application when they failed to notice that the POS land wasn’t within the development boundary. Rendering it unenforceable. 

“The Parish Clerk and I met online with a senior officer at Shirehall who admitted the error was theirs. While they admit it is their fault, they won’t budge, preferring to sweep the issue under the carpet & hope for the best. Thanks to their error, I remain concerned that this land is vulnerable to development,” David pointed out.

David said: “I have tried and failed to set up a joint meeting as PC chair to broker a solution with interested parties, but nobody wants to meet and thrash out a sustainable solution. It isn’t the parish council’s land so we are largely powerless to help. Only a coordinated approach will fix this problem.”


Note: owing to a technical issue, posts added in November ended up with a future publication date – preventing them from being published. This post was written in November 2023.

Update: Jan 2024. The issue continues with all this stormy weather as storm after storm rolls across the country. The Public Open Space needs a balancing pond to hold the excess run-off at peak times and release it slowly into the local drainage sustainably. The artificial raising of the land impacted the original pond in the South West Corner of the POS. Remodelling the drainage in the trees running parallel with Tedsmore Road and the pond in the corner with a replacement ditch by Ralph’s Drive would also help alleviate the flooding of The Old Smithy by the crossroads. Everybody ducking out of doing something is not acceptable and risks greater harm and stress for residents.

As a chartered Civil Engineering Surveyor, I have campaigned for many, many years of flooding issues, and it is very frustrating that Shropshire Council still can’t get the simple things right and appropriately manage flooding. It is time Shropshire Council pulled their finger out and did what needs to be done to minimise flooding issues.