Flood warning over plans for 300 Padiham riverside homes

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An environment expert has issued a warning over plans to build 300 riverside homes in Padiham after floods devastated huge parts of southern England.

Concerns have been raised over plans to develop a new luxury housing estate on the former Baxi site alongside the River Calder.

Eric Bond, environmental advisor at Newground, said the land was on a flood plain and could be at risk of flooding if the Calder burst its banks.

He said: “The land is right next to the river and is vulnerable to flooding. People may say the river has not flooded in living memory. But you only have to look at what is happening with the Thames now – it is at its highest for 60 years and the water is still rising.

“It is at risk and there is no getting away from that. If something untoward happens further up the Calder with debris blocking a bridge and building up, it could cause flooding.

“You can see the devastation that it can cause just by switching on the news.”

A planning application is yet to be submitted by developers for the 300 home plan which is set to include three and four bedroom properties and town houses. But Mr Bond believes flood risk management must be a serious consideration.

He said: “It is all over the national news with much debate about building properties in flood risk areas.

“Many people have got their head in the sand. Councillors and planning officers will have to take heed of this more so now than ever.

“Measures may have to be looked at to address the risk of flooding whether it is flood resilience measures on homes or protecting the whole estate.”

Coun. Bob Clark, of Padiham Town Council, said: “The land is on a flood plain. With all the terrible flooding going on at the minute it might just put a fly in the ointment.

“I had a yard down there for 40 years and it has never flooded once.

“However, with all the mdoern building regualtions they would have to build the homes on concrete rafts.

“I imagine it may not be allowed to be built unless the flood risk is mitigated.”

He added: “I am pleased to see that a planning application is being put together.”