1 February 2024
Vara meets with Yaxley residents and developers to tackle threat of flooding

Shailesh Vara MP, along with representatives from Yaxley Parish Council, local residents and the Middle-Level Commissioners has met with the developers Vistry and their consultants Stantec, who are developing the Great Haddon site. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the risk and potential impact of flooding from the development into neighbouring Yaxley.

Those attending included Cllr Andrew Wood, Vice Chair of Yaxley Parish Council, Helen Taylor, Clerk to the Council and Paul Burrows, Chief Executive Officer of the Middle-Level Commissioners.

This meeting followed a previous one last year with the Parish Council and District Councillors Kevin Gulson and the late Mac McGuire. It was decided at the time that a meeting with the developers and the Middle-Level Commissioners, who are responsible for managing the water levels in the Fens, would prove to be beneficial.

During the recent meeting, Mr Vara and the Yaxley residents made clear their serious concerns regarding the increased flow of water and associated flood risk posed by the Great Haddon development which when completed will have over 5000 homes.

Also of much concern is the fact that the cost of managing the floods would have to be met by Yaxley Parish Council, and so far, there has been no offer of financial assistance from either Peterborough City Council or the developers.

The role of the City Council at the early planning stages was also discussed. In particular, it was noted that initially the City Council had intended to carry out a Flood Risk Assessment, but the Council subsequently decided not to proceed with this.

It was felt by all those present that such an Assessment would be very useful in helping to better understand the issue and Mr Vara said he would contact the City Council to request that a Flood Risk Assessment be carried out.

Following the meeting, Mr Vara said:

“It is clear that at the earlier planning stages not enough attention was given to the flood risk for Yaxley and its residents. Given the huge development at Great Haddon, with over 5000 new homes to be built, it is a major omission on the part of the planners.

“Andrew Wood and Helen Taylor, along with other local residents, are right to raise their very serious concerns and they have my full support in trying to resolve this issue.

“I will be writing to Peterborough City Council to request that a Flood Risk Assessment be carried out as this may help us to move forwards.”

Cllr Wood added:

“The remodelling of the drainage system for Great Haddon and the A15 has resulted in a significantly increased drainage flow, which the watercourse in Yaxley was not designed for. It should always have been a requirement for the Great Haddon development to assess the potential impact on Yaxley, and we have been consistent in our demand for a Flood Risk Assessment to satisfy this need.”

Mrs Taylor said:

“A Flood risk assessment for Yaxley should have been carried out prior to any approval to put additional water into a small watercourse. The volumes and flow experienced over the recent months is beyond the capacity of the existing system resulting in the flooding we have experienced. Yaxley Parish Council welcomes this request to Peterborough City Council.”