Flood victims’ anger at lack of support as MP wades in to investigate

Flooding in Kings Copse, Leverstock Green, January 2014. Photo submitted by Nick Taylor.
Flooding in Kings Copse, Leverstock Green, January 2014. Photo submitted by Nick Taylor.

Householders whose brand new homes were affected by flooding just days into the new year say they are unhappy with the way their issues have been dealt with.

Many residents of the luxury Kings Copse development in Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead, were subjected to muddy rainwater cascading into their ground floor rooms after heavy storms earlier this month, ruining carpets and causing damage to paintwork and skirting boards.

The site has suffered flooding since before developers Crest Nicholson built in the area, which raised alarm bells for those living near to the development and even those who bought homes there just weeks ago.

Gemma Cardy, who moved into one of the new houses with her partner six weeks ago, said she was away at the time of the incident but rushed home after flooding pictures appeared on her Facebook page.

She said: “We had about an inch of water all through the downstairs of the house, which isn’t as bad as some of our neighbours. I have lived in Leverstock Green since 1988 and know about the issues with flooding.

“We were told it had all been resolved but it has not. It is security for the future we are worried about.”

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has written to Sally Marshall, chief executive of Dacorum Borough Council, to request a review of the planning consent and flood defence measures for the area.

Gemma and others at the site have also expressed concerns about the clean-up operation and a lack of contact from Crest Nicholson and Thames Water, through whom residents’ insurance claims are being sought.

One neighbour who did not wish to be named said: “We have been left with an open concrete floor which has massively affected us, as we have a 12 week old and a two year old.

“Nobody is really doing much – I think the companies are scared to help because it could be considered admitting liability.”

Thames Water has been carrying out an investigation into the problems with the one balancing pond currently at the site. A spokesman said: “We’re really sorry if residents feel that we aren’t acting fast enough to look into the problems at Kings Copse. Our investigations are ongoing, however we have a high number of flooding incidents across our region, and we do need to prioritise. If we do uncover a problem with our pond then we’ll be sure to do everything we can to fix it.”

A statement from Crest Nicholson on the issue read: “All drainage and related infrastructure for the homes that have to date been built at Kings Copse has been designed, installed and completed in line with requirements from the Environment Agency and local planning authorities.

“Residents are being kept updated on the clean-up process and the on-site Crest Nicholson team, available seven days per week, continues to respond to any queries.”