Knaresborough residents fear new homes have increased flood risk
Last updated Feb 19, 2024
Frogmire Dike pictured when flooded this month.

Residents in Knaresborough have expressed concerns a new development close to their homes has increased the risk of flooding.

Several people living on The Chase contacted the Stray Ferret after a wet spell this month led to water from Frogmire Dike spilling into a garden shed.

The dike, a tributary of the River Nidd, used to flow through an underground pipe on land at the back of the properties.

But it was de-culverted in September last year and turned into an open watercourse as part of the 300-home Castle Gate development by Linden Homes at Manse Farm.

The Linden Homes site

Residents say the dike is now struggling to cope with the volume of water caused by the protracted wet spell and run-off from the new development.

They also say the trench constructed to hold the water is eroding.

The dike burst its banks during the recent wet spell.

Representatives from Linden Homes were on site during the recent floods.

Richard Atkinson said there were sheep and horses on the land opposite when he bought his house as a newbuild in 1995. But the Castle Gate development, which is part of 1,000 homes being build in the area, changed that.

Mr Atkinson contacted North Yorkshire Council in January to see if the development that has taken place complied with planning regulations on flood prevention.

He said he and other residents were concerned about the proximity of the dike to their homes and erosion of the banks. He also wanted reassurance on how the issue will be managed long-term once Linden Homes vacates the development.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said properties were at risk. They added:

“We have never seen this amount of flooding before. It used to all flow through a four-foot diameter pipe but now a horrendous amount more comes through the trench and it’s struggling to cope.

“What’s more, they have dug this trench without anything to stabilise it so it has fallen away. “

‘No threat to properties’

A spokesperson for Vistry, which owns Linden Homes, said:

“The removal of the culvert last year, as per planning requirements, aimed to enhance flow and mitigate the risk of blockages. Unfortunately, recent heavy rain and snow caused water inundation down Frogmire Dyke, leading to bank flooding.

“Residents should, however, be reassured that properties are protected by a two-metre buffer to prevent erosion and a flow system that ensures flooding onto the bank poses no threat to properties, which are all raised.

“The watercourse will be monitored and maintained on an ongoing basis and once water levels recede in the impacted area, we’ll inspect the culvert/bridge for any restrictions and implement improvements to prevent future incidents.”

The dike is close to residents’ gardens.

Ian Thornton, chief executive of the Swale and Ure Drainage Board, said:

“The board are aware of the problems on this site which have continued since the main development took place and have had meetings with the developers regarding issues appertained and consider that the responsibility is down to the developers.”

A council spokesperson said:

“The issue rests with the developer Linden Homes and the internal drainage board who are responsible for consents associated with watercourses in the area. They are therefore best placed to respond.”

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