Marden Road Flooding – Staplehurst Parish Council Statement 16th November 2020
Staplehurst Parish Council
In the past few days, residents in properties along the Marden Road have been badly affected by foul and surface water flooding. It has had horrible consequences for residents of long-established and newly built properties.
The Parish Council takes no pleasure in saying to Maidstone Borough Council, Southern Water and David Wilson Homes: ‘We told you so’. The Parish Council has long pressed for action to address the shortcomings of the existing drainage infrastructure on Marden Road and of the drainage plans for Hen & Duckhurst Farm (Dickens Gate). It continues to do so.
The initial outline planning application for Hen & Duckhurst Farm (14/502010) envisaged foul water being taken northwards away from site, i.e. away from Marden Road. The application stated: ‘No connections from the foul or surface water from the proposed development will be made to either the existing sewers in Marden Road or the residential development to the East of the site’ (DHA Transport Drainage Technical Note 13/01/15).
Since the initial application, contrary to recommendations by the Parish Council, Maidstone Borough Council has successively approved DWH’s proposals for interim drainage solutions for up to 192 of the 250 homes to be built on the site, all of which discharge or will discharge into Marden Road and exacerbate the existing problem. When approving the proposals, MBC has acted on advice from Southern Water which has an obligation to deliver the approved infrastructure - unfortunately, all too frequently, delivery of such infrastructure lags behind construction of the homes.
It is a source of great frustration to the Parish Council that decision-makers have ignored its considered opinions and proposed solutions based on its local knowledge of what really happens in Staplehurst, leaving us all as villagers to suffer the consequences. The Parish Council has for some time been engaging with Helen Grant MP who is currently pressing the responsible parties for action at a senior level.
The Parish Council is aware of disappointing comments suggesting that it may somehow be blocking solutions, which it entirely refutes. To be clear, the Parish Council has no jurisdiction in drainage matters, but it would like to assure all residents that it is actively seeking a solution with all interested parties. We invite residents who have been affected by the recent flooding to send us evidence, particularly photographs, to help us make the case for urgent action. Please e-mail them to Staplehurst Parish Council Planning via the following link : planning e-mail address.
We shall update this information whenever updates are available.
For wastewater emergencies, blocked drains or possible pollution, please contact Southern Water on 0330 303 0368 (24-hour helpline).
Staplehurst Parish Council
- 01580 891761
Find Staplehurst Parish Council
Parish Office, Village Centre, High Street, Staplehurst, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 0BJ