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Flooding fears over 70 homes plan for Tean

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: April 16, 2014

By Abbey Buxton

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PLANS to build 70 houses in a village have led to fears of further flooding.

Renew Land Developments Limited has submitted an application (SMD/2013/1007) to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council for outline planning permission to build 70 semi-detached and detached homes, with public open space and an ecological area, in Cheadle Road, Upper Tean.

The plans are set to be decided by the council's planning committee at Moorlands House in Stockwell Street, Leek, on May 1.

Residents and community leaders fear that the extra homes could put further stress on the River Tean, which already regularly floods people's homes in Tean, Lower Tean and Checkley.

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Retired engineer Bruno Harrison, of Willow Close in Tean, said: "If they develop more properties there is going to be more water going into the river which has flooded a few times already.

"People living in Main Road have been flooded a few times, along with the White Hart Hotel in High Street; they have to use sandbags.

"It's a very important issue and it shouldn't be allowed to happen.

"The parish council has paid for a wildlife survey to be done along the river, because there are also concerns about how it will impact wildlife.

"The road conditions aren't suitable for the extra traffic that these houses would bring.

"I've lived in Tean for 40 years and I have seen a lot of things and seen it at its worst.

"On the site where they are proposing to build there were once three factories nearby and all of them were flooded.

"There is no need for more housing; Tean Mill was redeveloped years ago and most of those apartments are still lying empty, even though they've reduced the prices."

Mr Harrison's concerns have been echoed by local county and district councillor Mark Deaville, who also owns The Anchor Inn in Tean.

He said: "I've been involved with this now for a number of years with the people of Tean, Lower Tean and Checkley.

"In that time I have heard stories of people being flooded out of their houses and they and their families have had to leave their homes for a considerable time as a result.

"The fact is this development is not going to help matters and can only hinder matters and make things worse.

"My thoughts are for the people who have already suffered from flooding in the Tean valley for many years and I don't want to see them going through any more hardships.

"Tean is in a valley so obviously water goes into the river which causes major problems downstream, particularly in Tean, Lower Tean and Checkley.

"I've seen the consequences of flooding in this areas and I'm adamantly against further development in an area that will create problems downstream.

"I strongly feel that there are enough brown field sites that can be used for housing without using beautiful areas of green countryside that not only blight the landscape, but also cause problems with extra water and flooding."

Checkley Parish Council is also opposed to the development because of flooding issues.

Chairman Keith Flunder said: "The flooding problems in Lower Tean have been well documented over the years and have even been featured on the TV news.

"We have just got a £95,000 Staffordshire County Council grant for Lower Tean, so the water can be diverted back around the traditional route away from the centre of Lower Tean.

"So to think that flooding could be made worse potentially from something happening upstream is very worrying.

"We would prefer that brown fields sites are used for housing and we acknowledge affordable housing is needed in the district, which is why we support the Fole Dairy development, which is brown field and an eye sore and danger.

"But we feel that we don't need any more as that will give our parish its fair share."

In the design and access statement accompanying the application, it states: "Environment Agency Flood Maps show that the western area of the site, located on the lower ground adjacent to the River Tean is in Flood Risk Zone 3, at risk of flooding from 100-year floods.

"A flood risk assessment has been undertaken to ascertain the extent of flooding and impact upon the proposal.

"The report's conclusions have been taken into consideration in finalising the layout with development only taking place within Flood zone 1 away from the main area of flooding next to the River Tean.

"The existing landform has a gentle slope and there is some surface water run-off.

"The surface water from the development can be managed by a drainage system."

Summarising the application, the design and access statement adds: "It is considered that the proposal for the redevelopment of the site for the residential purposes is acceptable.

"It has been demonstrated to be in-keeping with the local character and in compliance with the local plan policies of Staffordshire Moorlands.

"The proposal provides a high quality housing development which will be an attractive and sustainable place in which to live.

"It creates a sensitive response to the site and will integrate well into its surroundings.

"The site is in a suitable location and is suitable for the type and mix of dwellings."

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