27 July 2023
Vara shares Yaxley drainage concerns

Shailesh Vara MP has met with concerned residents and local Councillors over potential drainage and environmental problems in Yaxley, arising from the Great Haddon development, adjoining the village.

During his visit to Yaxley, Mr Vara saw first-hand the potential difficulties. He was accompanied by Cllr Kevin Gulson from Huntingdonshire District Council, Cllr Mac McGuire from Cambridgeshire County Council, Cllr Andrew Wood, Vice-Chairman of Yaxley Parish Council, and Helen Taylor, Clerk to the Council.

Whilst previously the water flow in the area went to the north, to Stanground in Peterborough, the current arrangement, which Peterborough City Council has approved, means that the flow is directed to the south, to Yaxley.

The flow rate of water could be as high as 32.7 litres per second, which could cause serious flooding and environmental damage and would be the responsibility of Yaxley Parish Council to deal with at considerable expense.

The Middle-Level Commissioners, who manage water levels, have also expressed their concerns with the present arrangement.

Mr Vara is writing to the Leader of Peterborough City Council, Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, and the Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, to ask them to review earlier decisions to avoid major difficulties for Yaxley in the future.

Following the visit, Mr Vara said:

“It is clear that the decision to change the flow of water to Yaxley has not been properly thought through and the negative consequences for Yaxley will be hugely disproportionate and very costly.

“It is noteworthy that the Middle-Level Commissioners share the concerns of local residents.

“The way forward is for all the bodies concerned, especially Peterborough City Council, who gave permission for the change, to carefully review the situation and come to a more practical and sensible conclusion.”

Cllr Kevin Gulson said:

“Thank you for meeting today to discuss the issue Yaxley Parish Council has with the disputed water outflow from Vistry homes into Yaxley.

“Without consideration to Yaxley Parish Council the water was diverted through Yaxley Parish from the original water course of Stanground Lode.

“This may require great expense to the Parish Council to avoid localised flooding with no expectation of financial help through CIL funding as Yaxley is outside of Peterborough City.”

Cllr Mac McGuire said:

“The ambitions of Peterborough City Council to be the ‘growth city’ has resulted in the communities of Yaxley and Norman Cross being treated with contempt by the Great Haddon developers.

“Unfortunately the Cambridge-centric Joint Administration at Cambridgeshire County Council has done little or nothing to protect the interests of these communities in the North West of the county.”

Cllr Andrew Wood said:

“Thank you, Shailesh, for meeting with myself and representatives of Yaxley Parish Council to discuss our concerns regarding the new housing development on our border. The possibility of a significant increase in drainage, threatening a natural watercourse and its associated fauna and flora, is something that requires urgent review.

“Little consideration has been given by the developers or Peterborough City Planning as to the impact of this on our village, together with associated highway rerouting, and with no offer of additional funding via the Community Infrastructure Levy. I hope that we can work together towards a satisfactory resolution to this threat.”

Photo: Cllr Kevin Gulson, Shailesh Vara MP, Cllr Andrew Wood, Helen Taylor and Cllr Mac McGuire.