Steve Blackie - home floods

A South Cheshire couple have applied for permission to knock down their house and rebuild it higher up the garden because they can’t get any help to prevent it from flooding for a third time.

But Steve Blackie says Cheshire East Council is dragging its heels over the planning application and he fears his Church Minshull home could flood again.

The house on Over Road has flooded twice in the past two years.

It has cost the insurance company nearly £500,000 to repair and forced Mr Blackie and his partner to move into temporary accommodation for more than 19 months.

“The first time it flooded was in October 2019, it was ready to move back in in November last year and there was a total bill for the insurance company of £281,000,” Mr Blackie told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“We were then in it until January and on January 26 this year it flooded again and this time we’ve been back in it now probably seven or eight weeks and there’s a £195,000 bill for the house.”

Mr Blackie said they dread every time it rains because the road outside the house floods.

“We just have to live with the fear that as soon as it rains we’re going to be in exactly the same situation.

“We’ve tried to do everything we can.

“We’ve put a wall completely around the outside of the house, we’ve put electric gates on it to try and stop it.”

He said the water is coming from the River Weaver and “because nobody now drains the rivers and channels them, it actually then backs up with water to here and Eel Brook which comes down off the fields”.

“It’s never flooded in 25 years but it’s happened twice now in the last two years,” he said.

“I can’t get any answers off anybody.

“I’m so frustrated because I go to the parish council, they say we’ve spoken to Cheshire East, Cheshire East don’t respond.

“This has been going on for two years and we’re no better with this road, two years on.

“The council don’t seem to sort the problem out. They send somebody out and it doesn’t go any further.

“So the only thing we can actually come up with is, if we knock the house down completely and move it to the top half of the garden to stop it flooding.

“But, again, that has been in with the council since March 1 and we’ve still got nowhere with it.”

Steve Blackie at home in Church Minshull

Ward councillor Sarah Pochin (Bunbury, Ind), who has visited the property, told the LDRS: “The stress and upheaval that Mr Blackie and his partner have suffered since 2019 are shameful and caused entirely by the failure of both the Environment Agency and Cheshire East Council to work together to solve the flooding issues outside his house.

“To be faced with knocking your house down and building a new one or knowing that you’ll be flooded again this winter is a ridiculous situation to be in.”

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said: “Unfortunately, the council does not have the resources to fund flood protection measures for individual properties.

““However, owing to extreme weather conditions and flooding events in recent years we are constantly looking into potential wider infrastructure solutions, working in partnership with other agencies including the Environment Agency, United Utilities and landowners.

“An owner whose property is at risk of flooding is advised by central government to take the necessary measures to protect their homes or businesses and make them more resistant to flooding.

“The planning application was received by the council in early April.

“Further information and revised plans were submitted by the applicant in September.

“The additional information, including comments from neighbours and other consultees on the revised plans, are currently being considered and the application will be determined in due course.”

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