South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18)

Comment ID 804
Document Section South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) Rural Centres Infrastructure Text Block View all on this section
Respondent Martock Parish Council View all by this respondent
Response Date 17 Sep 2019

The addition of this paragraph is welcome but it is incomplete and, in some respects, misleading. The following is suggested as a possible substitute.

The River Parrett forms the west side of the Parish and there are a number of locations where flooding occurs throughout the whole of the settlement. Flooding is exacerbated by small, culverted watercourses which are undersized or prone to blockage, many being below capacity, and unable to cope with modern rainfall events. In recent times properties have flooded on East Street, following blockages on the Foldhill Lane drainage, which has now been improved. The Flood Alleviation Scheme designed in the 1970s, which deliberately directs flood water on to the main route to and from the A303 and the village, also includes a 300m flood embankment, flow restrictions and a canalised channel. If development is proposed on the eastern side of the village, additional flood defences should be funded by developers. All the water flow and rainfall catchment data for the Parish is estimated, and is used to produce Flood Risk Assessments (FRA) for development on land susceptible to flooding. The same estimated data have been used for a local Hydrology Study, where some of the conclusions do not reflect what occurs in practice when floods occur. For this reason only actual accurate data should be used for an FRA, so that reliable conclusions can be reached for the safety of the community.

Additionally, the importance of the wider context is missing from this section and this context should be an important factor in the design of FRAs. The catchment area around the village is part of a wider Somerset River Authorities (SRA) programme to manage flooding not only within Martock but also downstream. This has several implications for village development:

  • • Any development flood risk solution must take account of, and be integrated into, this larger picture
  • • Any development flood risk analysis must recognise the inaccuracies inherent in flood risk data which are estimated and not based on actual flow measurements.
  • • Any development flood risk analysis must take account of the observation that flooding in the village is caused not only by increase in upstream flows but also backing up of floodwater downstream (on the west side of the village currently seemingly favoured for development).
  • • Run-off from the clay soils in the village is highly variable and crucially dependent on the degree of saturation of the soil.