Finances overtop common sense

I was interested to note the understandable concerns of Pebsham residents after a newly designated housing site turned into a lake during the recent bad weather. [Bexhill Observer 1/1/16].

Coincidentally, I have just been in correspondence about a similar situation in the north where I‘d suggested a similar risk for a housing site next to a river weir and bridge back in May – even mentioning that global warning might require a rethink. It came under considerable pressure a few days ago as did, regrettably, many other locations.

Apparently the defences held but there was considerable concern.

I moved to that community, just outside my home town of Bury, in 1974.

Three new luxury detached houses had been built (unusual in itself then).

They were further up-stream than the bridge but at the maximum distance from the bordering river, purely to gain easy road access.

By chance, I happened to know one of the well-heeled purchasers and he told me that remedial work had to be carried out on his house when the river over-topped its banks (again unusual in that period).

I was talking to the farmer who had sold the land and he said, with a wry smile: “I did tell them all that it was a water meadow.”

Of course there is everything to suggest that financial factors ‘overtop’ common sense when these matters are considered.

One of your correspondents on the letters page makes exactly that same point about the new link road and ex-bypass.

I doubt that he is wrong.

Dave Walsh

Rotherfield Avenue


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