Stratton St Margaret Parish Council – Merton Field Flooding Press Release
We would like to apologise for the flooding at Merton Fields due to the new drainage system, provide the background as to why it was installed and to confirm the remedial action being taken presently.
The Council hired a contractor to install some pipe drainage at Merton Fields Park in order to solve some localised flood issues with the paths, this initial work would not have required planning permission. This included a herring bone formation drain system intended to drain water away from main park areas and down into a new sink hole and new French drain.
Around the time that this was completed, the country was hit by heavy rainfall and flooding was widespread. The area around the new French drain became inundated and flooding spread across the bottom boundary of the park and towards private properties that have been built on an area that is historically prone to high levels of groundwater. The amount of water that quickly drained into the corner of the field from the new drainage was underestimated and exacerbated by heavy rainfall, the rainfall in October and November was 50% higher than the national average.
In an attempt to resolve this the Council commissioned the same contractor to dig a larger drainage system in order to ensure the groundwater and surface water was contained in a new freshwater habitat, however, due to the ongoing heavy rainfall this has recently flooded. To remedy this, the Council has instructed a contractor to drain the water urgently today, 16/12/19, and an overflow system will be fitted shortly to prevent this happening again. In the meantime, we have instructed the contractor to make regular visits to the site to monitor the water level.
We are currently working with the Environment Agency and Swindon Borough Council to make sure this new structure complies with all the planning regulations. Once this has been done we will landscape the area into a natural habitat.