Angry Sunderland residents hit out at flooding meeting

FILE PIC taken 25 September 2012'FloodslDunelmDriveB25092012.jpg'Clearing up after the heavy rain left dozens of homes on Dunelm Drive, Houghton, in danger of flooding.

FILE PIC taken 25 September 2012'FloodslDunelmDriveB25092012.jpg'Clearing up after the heavy rain left dozens of homes on Dunelm Drive, Houghton, in danger of flooding.

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ANGRY residents slammed water company chiefs at a meeting about plans to protect their homes from flooding.

More than 150 people turned out at Kepier Hall, Houghton, to discuss problems stemming from incidents last year.

Chaired by Les Clark, head of Street Scene at Sunderland Council, the meeting was attended by representatives from the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water who explained their roles and answered questions.

In September last year, the worst deluge at the time of year for more than 55 years saw homes, gardens and streets flooded across the area.

Lindsay Pendleton, of Northumbrian Water, said thousands of pounds of improvements were being put into the area around Dairy Lane to reduce the risk of future flooding.

“We have also done extensive CCTV of The Grove (at Rainton Bridge) and soon we will be feeding back to the residents about that situation.”

Residents also expressed concerns about their contents insurance premiums increasing, as well as a housing proposal for 300 homes in North Road, Hetton, which they say will cause flooding problems for people living yards away in Mill Terrace.

“It’s a real worry,” said grandmother-of-two Edith Corney, 60, of Dunelm Drive in Dairy Lane, whose back garden was flooded in the downpour.

“We had to help people who are more than 90 years old out of their homes when the floods happened last year, and we just hope the same thing doesn’t happen again.”

Councillor Colin Wakefield, of the Rats group, who represents Copt Hill ward in Houghton, said after the meeting: “I think a lot of people that I have spoken to are disappointed with the answers they’ve been given.”

He added: “They feel that the needs of the developers come before the people.”