Harlow Conservative councillor points finger at Newhall as cause for Churchgate Street flooding

News / Sat 13th May 2023 at 11:04am

A HARLOW Conservative councillor has questioned whether the Newhall housing development was to blame for the recent flooding of Churchgate Street in Old Harlow.

A statement on the Newhall Projects Limited Facebook page, went into great details to assert that the “sustainable urban drainage system” kicked into place when the floods came.

You can read their statement below.

But a number of people have wondered whether one of the factors behind the flooding was the development of new housing near Churchgate Street.

Amongst those include Netteswell councillor Colleen Morrison.

Before she was a councillor, Ms Morrison took a great interest in many environmental matters across the town. Her letter frequently appeared in the Harlow Star.

Councillor Morrison told YH.

“It isn’t just rainwater runoff from the fields around Newhall that floods Churchgate Street.

Newhall and Church Langley’s Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) pumps water from the Newhall reed beds and the fields and the stream that runs through Newhall into Harlowbury brook at Churchgate Street.

“That’s caused relentless flooding of Churchgate Street and Sheering Road for years. The SUDS also floods Gilden Way”.


Statement from Newhall Projects Limited: “We hope you are all safe and well. We are aware of the extreme weather and flash floods that affected Newhall yesterday, causing concern and disruption for many of you.

You will be pleased to know that the long term planning of the sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) built into the masterplanning design worked well and as intended in these situations. The water so far as we are aware took the extreme weather event water safely away from properties and down the valley to the balancing attenuation ponds where it is held back and released at a controlled rate down stream.

We have attached a couple of images, which show Newhall Lake, where the flood water flows to and slowly drains in a controlled way. The second image is taken from the original Newhall Masterplan, showing the lake and some of the balancing ponds, which are designed to control the flow of water away from homes.

We want to assure you that we are taking the situation seriously and our landscaping partners Majestic Garden Services have already begun working to clean up and restore the affected areas.

We understand that the damage caused by the floods can be difficult to witness, but we are doing everything we can to ensure that those impacted by the event are supported. We are working hard to ensure that the cleanup and restoration efforts are carried out quickly and effectively.

We are also closely monitoring the situation to prevent any further damage or risk to the community. Your safety and well-being are our top priority, and we will keep you informed as we work through this situation together.

Please report estate issues to Dominic in the usual way using [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please be patient as we are dealing with a higher number of enquiries than usual.

If the issue is to do with your property then you will need to contact your house builder, landlord, NHBC or your building insurance company.

“Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to restore our community to its full potential”.

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8 Comments for Harlow Conservative councillor points finger at Newhall as cause for Churchgate Street flooding:

2023-05-13 11:44:10

Ha ha ha ….they are funny. Conveniently didn’t show the picture of the flooding in newhall just the pond picture, nor mention of the complete flooding of Bridge Street directly outside the Newhall New Ground Cafe that’s directly above stream and one of the sections that uses the SUDS as the method of drainage and instead the flooding occurring at the mid section of the entry and exit part for residents alongside business and houses. Those at the end of the SUDS of course will be impacted when flooding like that happens at the site of one of the starting points. The one thing Bellway got right in their part of the development of the parcel was to ignore Newhall Projects and do away with the reed beds SUDS and implement a proper drainage system underground.

Neil Warner-Baker
2023-05-13 12:43:26

I have to hand it to Cllr Morrison, I've had some long and Frank conversations with regarding flood risk and the town's growing infrastructure including the new developments to the East of the town, where she indicated her growing concerns at least 2 years ago. She may not "perform" well in the chamber but it became apparent to me that she has a deep knowledge in this area and frequently sits down with Civil engineers to iron out problems ..and sometimes, I'm sure, bangs her head as those fears become a reality.

2023-05-13 12:46:28

That's interesting JJ. Can anyone add to his thoughts?

2023-05-13 12:52:29

Can Harlow Council Planning make a statement about the recent flooding? Is our Council (are our Councillors) doing anything to avert a probable recurance?

2023-05-13 15:07:42

Its all going to get worse and worse and much worse. Developers are just greedy selfish humans. We are so overpopulated now and there is still more new builds to come and many many more cars. Lol.

2023-05-13 17:38:22

Gilston Estate hggt pfp development 10,000 homes developers have opted for SUDs scheme. All the waters and sewage is to flow towards Harlow. The problem is once the mitigation holding ponds are full, the reed beds and flood plain is saturated or very dry (extreme conditions as predicted by Climate Change science) then sudden intense downpours cause flooding, again as predicted by Climate change scientists and by hggt's own consultants. As Robert Halfon MP has said of the raised road crossing going down into the River Stort Valley, a key part of the development, the they "need to go back to the drawing board ".

2023-05-13 19:12:48

Nostradamus, I do wish that hggt would leave the flood plains North of the river Stort alone, they work perfectly as they are ..as anyone can see as they travel along 5th Avenue towards Eastwick roundabout and theyprovide wonderful rare wildlife habitat.

2023-05-15 20:24:05

blame tories on cuts to local services as we once had are are drains regular cleaned , all tories selling off are water which ment billions going to foreign investors instead of going back into keeping are drains and rivers clean and not all contaminated as we have them today

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