Flooding couple threaten legal action

AFTER 20 years of watching water flood their garden, an Ipswich couple has had enough and are threatening legal action against the authorities.Baling out has become part of everyday life for pensioners Peter and Bobbie Hopper, whose garden is regularly submerged under as much as a foot of water.

AFTER 20 years of watching water flood their garden, an Ipswich couple has had enough and are threatening legal action against the authorities.

Baling out has become part of everyday life for pensioners Peter and Bobbie Hopper, whose garden is regularly submerged under as much as a foot of water.

The Worsley Close couple, have contacted Ipswich Borough Council many times, only to be told it is a natural spring causing the problem and that they have done all they can to help.

Mr Hopper, 69, said the problem started in 1984.


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Mr Hopper said: "It happens just about every time there is a heavy rain and has become a permanent feature of our lives.

"Two or three times the water has covered the whole garden and run down the side of the house. The deepest it's got is about a foot, at the point where the garden dips.

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"Once the garden is flooded, it can take several days, or a fortnight in the bad weather, to dissipate. The only respite we get is in the month of high summer.

"We don't dry out properly. We don't get much sunlight in the garden because of high conifer trees all along one side.

"It has ruined the garden, has got into the garage, is always in the greenhouse. It's just a nuisance.

"Scum forms on the top and there are flies. I just feel very sorry for my wife, because she is the gardener."

Mr Hopper is also sure the flooding will affect the value of their home.

Ipswich Borough Council said natural springs feed a pond in the adjacent Stone Lodge Park, which then overflows into a watercourse that would naturally flow through the Hoppers' garden.

But the watercourse has been diverted, via a catchpit in the park, to a pipe that leads to the surface water sewerage system in Worsley Close.

A council spokesman said that although the watercourse reverts to its natural course when the catchpit's inlet is blocked, the water should normally soak into the ground before reaching the Worsley Close gardens.

Work done to try and alleviate the problem has included cleaning the catchpit and improving its inlet in 2001, regular inspections of the inlet's new grille since then, and deepening the inlet ditch last year.

The council spokesman added: "The garden will occasionally flood if the conditions are severe enough or the grille is blocked.

"The council does not have a duty to prevent the natural flow of water from the park into the gardens - indeed it is likely to be impossible to completely prevent it. However we have tried to help."

Do you have this problem? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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