Furious Cragg Vale residents have hit out at plans to build houses on an old mill pond which they fear will increase the risk of flooding.
Residents of The Brook and victims of the recent floods now face an anxious wait to hear whether an application to build houses on the site of the old Scarbottom Mill pond will be passed by Calderdale Council’s planning committee.
Sharon Le Corre said: “It seems crazy and yes, cruel, that having lost so much in the Boxing Day floods our community now faces a fight to ensure that these houses are not built on this flood plain.
“We are all exhausted dealing with the clear-up and trying to get our homes back to normal but now we have to turn our minds to fighting this, because if we don’t it will go through on a nod and a wink and the rest of the surrounding area will pay a bitter price in the future.”
Residents say that the pond, which has silted up over the years, soaks up water when it rains heavily, acting as a sponge for water coming off the surrounding hills and some of the excess from Cragg Brook. They are worried that, if built on, this would no longer be the case.
But a flood risk assessment submitted alongside the application states the area to be developed lies outside the flood plain and there would be “no interruption to the flow of flood water or reduction in the storage capacity of the flood zone.”
Hebden Royd Town Council voted to reject the planning application at a recent meeting, but the application will now go before Calderdale Council for a final decision.
Mrs Le Corre urged people to log on to the council’s planning website and object to the plans.