£ Millions Lost in Drainage Scam
John Goodall of Nene Flood Prevention Alliance, which was established by residents and local politicians following the 1998 Northampton flood disaster, has been investigating the activities of Anglian Water on the lead up to the Easter 1998 flood. His evidence is that £ Millions that were earmarked for significant drainage improvements during the 1980’s were somehow diverted away from Northampton drainage works, which resulted in “vital” drainage works being left unfinished. In spite of the deaths in 1998, this fact did not come to light in the inquest, because the Environment Agency were not questioned about it at the time. Even today the drainage schemes, which are essential for protecting the town from high flow levels in the river Nene have still not been completed.
Not surprisingly, officials are not keen to discuss this matter - even though John Goodall has uncovered documentary evidence concerning the failure to finish drainage schemes that were fully funded. As a last resort, John has asked the Police to investigate the threat that is posed to the town’s safety and to find out where the missing £ millions disappeared to.
WNDC were established with the authority to drive through the planning for an additional 125,000 houses for Northamptonshire by 2026 as part of this push.
However, when questioned by residents at a meeting of Upton Parish Council earlier this week, Stephen Kelly, Development Manager for WNDC, admitted that whereas his organisation has the power to provide planning permission to support the massive expansion of the town, they have little influence over bodies such as the Primary Care Trust who will provide medical facilities in the area. This lack of control means that WNDC is empowered to expand our population, but cannot guarantee to make sure essential services like medical centres are supplied to keep up with the growth.
For example, at Upton, Developers have withdrawn from the site stating that economic conditions are no longer suitable for further house building. It so happens that the builders are leaving the site, which was hailed by Prince Charles for its green credentials, having failed to fulfil their promises to build affordable housing, a medical centre, shops and a community facility, which formed part of their permission to build at Upton. Some residents of Upton have been waiting for a local medical centre for five years. Instead they have to make a ten mile round trip to their nearest Doctor - which defeats the ‘sustainability’ principle upon which the Upton site was founded.
Further questioning revealed that this same lack of control extends to our Emergency Services and almost every other essential utility you care to mention. We asked Kelly if there was a point at which the WNDC would realise that building was being allowed (by them) to proceed at a much faster rate than could be sustained by the services and infrastructure that are so essential to sustain modern-day living. In particular we asked if there would come a point when housing growth had to be halted by WNDC in order to allow the infrastructure to catch up thus avoiding unnecessary hardship to local residents. Kelly replied that WNDC has no powers to refuse planning permission on these grounds.
The only new roads on offer in Northampton are the pitifully under funded Sandy Lane improvements, which they still insist on calling a bypass, even though there isn't enough money to make it a dual carriageway or even demolish the houses that stand in the way of the "Bypass" joining a main road to the north of the town.
This road is intended only to satisfy developers’ needs for access to thousands of new houses. The Council blame the massive growth in population for our troubles. Yet they are the officers who, with WNDC are blindly carrying out the Government’s orders to increase the population of Northampton by 60%.
If they persist in covering green fields with masses of new houses, there will be even less room for a future-proof new road network. Surely our planners should be planning and securing funding for a serious road infrastructure to support 100,000 extra houses in Northamptonshire - before they build the houses?
The Flood Risk objections are in addition to the risks of Landslip- Traffic Congestion- increasing Road Noise and further loss of Air Quality and are all objections that can be made if and when specific large scale Development proposals are lodged for this area ….
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