New build Todmorden Lidl store ‘increases the risk of flooding’, says report

The new Lidl store at Halifax Road, Todmorden
The new Lidl store at Halifax Road, Todmorden

The new Lidl supermarket being built in Todmorden increases the flood risk to a number of neighbouring properties, a report has revealed.

Information sent by Calderdale Council after being requested by Todmorden Town Council said the new Lidl premises - which has been under construction on Halifax Road since last summer - still had outstanding conditions which were not discharged, relating to surface water and foul water drainage.

The email to councillors states: “The Environment Agency flood risk modelling of the pre and post development flooding impact on properties in the vicinity of the development is now complete and shows an increase in flood risk to a number of properties.

“The findings are in line with the approved FRA (flood risk assessment).

“Currently conditions three and four relating to surface and foul water drianage and flood risk remain undischarged. The surface water drainage issues have not been resolved and the surface water drainage design is not approved by the lead local flood authority.”

Residents expressed serious concerns as far back as last June that the design would put their homes more at risk and were especially concerned about the site being “built up” from its previous level.

The email says legal counsel sought by the council resulted in advice that “the developer is not entitled to construct the car park at the level shown on plans PO28 and PO25 and the work on the proposed development is in breach of conditions three and four of the consent”.

Accordingly Lidl has been served with a planning contravention notice (PCN) to formally ascertain the nature and scope of construction undertaken.

Its purpose is to secure co-operation prior to enforcement notice procedure, and the council is awaiting Lidl’s response.

This week, Calderdale Council’s corporate lead for planning, Richard Seaman, said: “At the end of last year the council served a planning contravention notice, which required Lidl to answer a series of questions relating to the work that has been carried out on site.

“Our highest priority is the protection of people and property from flood risk, and as such discussions between the council, Lidl and the Environment Agency are continuing at a senior level.”

A spokesman for Lidl said the team on site took a short break during the Christmas holidays, but otherwise work was continuing as normal to build the new store in Todmorden.

He said Lidl’s position was as outlined in previous responses to concerns expressed.

“I would like to reinforce and provide further reassurance that the new store is being built in accordance with the approved plans, along with the recommendations of the flood risk assessment conducted prior to planning consent being granted,” he said.

Todmorden Town Councillor Janet Battye, who took up residents’ concerns last summer, said: “I am glad that at last Calderdale Council are taking the serious risk of flooding from the Lidl site to the residents of Der Street very seriously.

“I think it is a pity that it has been left this late to make it absolutely clear to Lidl that they need to agree the flood risk assessment and put the mitigation into the site to make sure that the local houses are not affected.

“It is important that at least there is a decent wall around the Lidl site to make sure that anything that falls on the site stays on the site.

“It is really important that Lidl and the council get together and get it sorted out.”