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Experts who can’t see common sense

RE: Last week’s story about the Thanet Way being under water, the county council and Canterbury City Council both know that this area is a flood area. As the article pointed out, “flooding on the old Thanet Way is nothing new”.

What is new is the idiotic idea being endorsed by the self-proclaimed planning expert who sits as chairman of the Whitstable Society committee, Graham Cox, who is, as far as I am aware, not a flood engineer. Mr Cox states that installing a pipe under the eastbound carriageway towards Gorrell Stream would solve this problem (the problem we have had for years and nobody has resolved). Mr Cox then adds that the Devine Homes development will help but does not elaborate how. He points to Devine Homes, which is proposing to build up to 400 homes on the site abutting the Thanet Way near Duncan Down where the Gorrell Stream is. We say all that run-off from all the new concrete, tarmac, houses, roads and drainage in an area that today comprises crop-yielding fields will have to go into the overloaded water system or Gorrell Stream.

Katie Lewis from KCC highways stated that “excessive rainfall leads to surface flooding”. Councifior Ashley Clark agrees with Ms Lewis when he says 5,500 cubic metres of water will be produced after two inches of rainfall, with the run-off ending up in Whitstable town centre, causing massive flooding. We proposed a solution to Canterbury councillors. No, we are not experts nor engineers, but we have common sense and up to 7,800 Whitstable residents supporting our proposal. Our site will be 100 per cent social housing. Any water run-off cannot be prevented from that site at Golden Hill (it’s a hill), Side of the Thanet by building Way (a proposal which has been rejected, I understand, by CUr Clark, Mr Cox and others) and leaving Duncan Down as a ‘soak-up site’ and forming a new lake, the water that has been such a historical problem on the Thanet Way can be used to create a wonderful habitat for all of Whitstable’s residents and wildlife to enjoy.

With regard to sewage from the site, we say this is no more or less than what would be created by city council proposals for Duncan Down (executive housing), which will also cause more ‘run-off flooding’ as it cannot go anywhere. We say that building new houses on Duncan Down will exacerbate the flooding on the Thanet Way and cause flooding to the town centre.

Ken Little
By e-mail

Herne Bay Times, January 21st 2015

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