A Kirklees councillor has called for work on a new housing estate to be halted following serious flooding on the site.
Holme Valley South councillor Donald Firth said the Miller Homes development of 39 houses on land off Cross Lane at Scholes, Holmfirth, should be halted until the flooding issue affecting properties on nearby Moorlands had been resolved.
Hazel Stead, who lives in the bottom of the cul de sac on Moorlands, said a lake had formed behind her house while an adjacent children’s play area was also under water.
Workmen from Miller Homes carrying out groundwork on the site have dug holes in a bid to drain the water and have built a banking in an effort to prevent the floodwater spreading. But residents say the floodwater is continuing to rise.
Clr Firth said: “I have had promises from Kirklees to send enforcement officers out there, but no one has been – and there’s now a reservoir at the back of Hazel’s property. If the banking that the builders have put up overflows there are going to be a lot of houses flooded out. We need to put a stop notice on this job until they decide where the water is going to go. It is not soaking away.”
He added that locals had warned council officers before planning permission was granted last September that there were a lot of springs on the land. “There’s only about a foot of top soil before you hit bedrock,” he said. “The soil is clay, which is not porous, so it’s no good putting in a soakaway.”
Mrs Stead, 68, a retired textile worker, said the floodwater had reached the back of the garage next to her house, saying: “The workmen have dug holes to take the water away, but it is not working. It is flooding the back of my garage and onto the play area. I have rung Miller Homes up and no one has come back to me. I have heard nothing – it’s absolutely disgusting.
“The fence at the back of my house is 3ft 3in and the banking is higher than that,” she said. “It is still filling up. If that is what it’s like now, what will it be like when they come to build houses on it?”
Kirklees planning committee gave Miller Homes the green light to develop the site on the recommendation of planning officers – despite strong objections from local residents and local councillors.
A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “Planning permission was granted for residential development on the land with several conditions requiring drainage details to be agreed. The council are aware of soil strip and excavations for drainage trail holes that are required to satisfy conditions.
“The recent weather has resulted in significant amounts of water accumulating on the site which has hampered progress with drainage tests.
“In these circumstances the council continue to liaise with the developers and have advised not to commence construction of any dwelling until drainage matters are resolved.
“The council are monitoring the progress of surface water management on the site and if the developers commence works on the houses without suitable drainage measures in place the council will consider formal enforcement options.”
Miller Homes was asked to comment but did not respond.