‘Whenever it rains, our gardens get swamped’

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THE gardens in a row of rural houses flood almost every time it rains – and the people who live in them say they are sick of it.

Mike Walsham, 73, told the Gazette that the problem in Beacon Road, Ringshall, is down to inadequate drainage on the road.

12-686     Floods at Beacon Road, Ringshall. 'Mike Walsham standing in Beacon Road where he photographed the floods.

12-686 Floods at Beacon Road, Ringshall. 'Mike Walsham standing in Beacon Road where he photographed the floods.

He said: “We would like to draw people’s attention to our plight when it rains, and it has been raining heavily on-and-off since the end of March.

“When we get even a bit of rain, someone’s garden gets flooded – and two weeks ago, seven of our gardens got flooded. It was huge.”

The Grade II-listed row of homes – built in the 18th Century for people working on the Ashridge Estate – are at the bottom of three hills.

Mr Walsham said the cellar of his house – part of the row – was flooded four years ago, and he is worried it could happen again.

He said: “When you take out insurance, one of the questions they ask you is: ‘Has your property been flooded?’ or: ‘Is it in an area where it’s likely to be flooded?’

“It makes either makes it difficult to get insurance or more expensive – and it does not help if somebody wants to sell their house.

“This flooding should not happen unless you have got a really, really torrential downpour going on for days.”

Mr Walsham says the bottom of Beacon Road fills up to a foot deep in water after it rains and that new drains need to be installed there.

He said the drains on the adjacent B4506 are not any better as they are on the higher side of a slope that carries water towards the row of homes.

Tom Shipp, spokesman for Herts County Council, said the gullies at the side of Beacon Road carry rainwater to a camber in the garden of on of the homes.

Water is then carried across the B4506 to a soakaway, where it sinks into the ground.

But Mr Shipp said: “At times of heavy rainfall, such as during the periods of extreme wet weather we have been experiencing in recent months, the chamber overflows.”

The council plans to improve drainage in the area in 2016 or 2017.