Fiona meets flood-risk residents
Fiona today met with residents of Hurworth Place concerned about a plan to build houses on the local flood plain.
The controversial application from Yuill Homes is based on the outdated flood risk model and Fiona is among those calling for the plans to be dropped.
Fiona said, "In this case, the law is an ass. The developer was granted planning permission on the old flood model and so is able to ignore the latest data which, under Environment Agency guidelines shows there is a high probability of flooding each year. It is very clear that the planned development is not appropriate for the area as the and will cause a real threat to surrounding properties.
"If the developer cannot be relied upon to do the right thing, we will have to press for a change in the law which forces them to."
Local Lib Dem councillor Martin Swainston accused Darlington Borough Council of betraying local residents.
He said, "Throughout the entire process, officers at the council have assured us this development would not go ahead. Now it looks as though it will. There is a strong sense of betrayal among local residents. It seems the council have deliberately misled us and now they are trying to wash their hands of the issue.
"They are more concerned with covering their backs rather than doing what is right. The Council should revoke the planning permission and fight the developers in court."
Hurworth Place resident Susan Williams said, "Going ahead with the planned development will produce houses that are unable to get insurance and increase the risk of flooding to existing properties.
"The developers have refused to use the most up to date flood risk assessment and seem completely blasé about the potentially devastating effect on houses that already exist.
"The parish council can prevent the development by refusing the use of their land for easement and I would call on them to do so. We are fighting to protect our homes but everyone seems to be passing the buck."