LEADING environmental authorities in East Staffordshire are set to hold crunch talks in a bid to solve a long-running flooding problem which has blighted a community.
Severn Trent, the Environment Agency and Staffordshire County Council are desperately working towards a solution to ongoing drainage problems that leaves Barton under Needwood at risk of flooding on a regular basis.
The area’s vulnerability was highlighted when a sewer pump failed due to the strain of November’s heavy rainfall, which caused substantial flooding in the area, leaving many homes under a torrent of water and sewage.
Initial work to rectify the problem has begun with Severn Trent carrying out drainage works on the A38, which it hopes will go a long way to ending the village’s flooding problems.
But leading authorities are set to hold talks to discuss a plan of action, with Barton Parish Council fearful of what impact 130 new houses to be built in the area worst affected would have, believing it would only ‘exacerbate’ the situation.
Parish council vice-chairman Ed Sharkey said: “We are heading towards a meeting with Severn Trent, the Environment Agency, Staffordshire County Council and the Highways Agency. We still have two couples out of their houses at the moment and we had residents with a lake of sewage in their back gardens.
“The existing system doesn’t work some of the time and it especially doesn’t work when there is heavy rainfall. There are night closures on the A38 but we’re still to receive full details of what’s involved.
A spokesman for Severn Trent said: “We have worked together with parties to assess what we can do together to prevent the local community from being further affected.
“We will continue to work with all parties to understand any next steps we need to undertake to help further reduce the impact of flooding for the local community.”