Residents’ fury over Towneley flooding

ANGER has erupted over flooding near the new £33m. Unity College site which homeowners say could put their properties at risk.

Friday, 12th November 2010, 6:00 am

Neighbours of the controversial “superschool” have become increasingly concerned about a growing pool of flood water fringing their homes.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle has waded into the debate saying the school should never been built on the flood plain and demanded Lancashire County Council take action to sort the problem.

After visiting the 60ft stagnating pool of water with local residents, Mr Birtwistle said: “If there is any occasion that we can say ‘we told you so’ then this is it.

“We told the county council they were building on a flood plain and they totally disagreed. They totally ignored the advice of people who know the area. Now there is a lake there and it is growing. They must act and they have got to act immediately.”

Peter Robinson (71) of nearby Darnley Street, said: “We’ve been fighting the cause now for three years. The builders said they would cure it but now there is this great big lake right next to where I live.”

He explained that the pool, which is nearly 2ft deep in the middle, was encroaching on the path and heading towards houses down a bank at the other side.

“There are a lot of people round here who are concerned about this. The water is being contained at the moment but if we get a massive downpour it could cause a lot of damage.”

Coun. Linda White added: “It is getting worse. Much worse. If it gets much bigger and comes across the path it will flood houses on Mary Towneley Fold.

“With the bad weather coming there is a real risk of this happening.”

Stephen Riley, a county council buildings and development officer, said: “An area of land between the Unity College and Brunshaw Primary School sites has been collecting rainwater in bad weather. This standing water is affecting access to Towneley Park. The ground levels were changed as part of the building project and we are working with the contractor, Bovis Lend Lease, to provide a solution. We hope to resolve this situation shortly.”