Concerns have been raised about flooding in Monkseaton despite North Tyneside Council announcing that a prevention scheme is set to be completed this summer.
Work on what is being described by the local authority as ‘the final piece in a very successful jigsaw’ is now taking place at Briar Vale.
It will form part of the £4.5million investment to reduce the risk of flooding in North Tyneside.
But Sean Brockbank, Conservative Party candidate for Monkseaton South, has questioned how effective the works so far have been – highlighting the state of Langley playing field following heavy rain last Tuesday, April 10 – and said the new homes as part of the North Tyneside Local Plan will cause a problem.
On the former point, he said: “I did a video on Facebook from Langley playing field after local residents contacted me to point out just how flooded the area gets.
“It received a great response and it is not the only place in Monkseaton that gets flooded when there is heavy rain.
“Whatever work has been done so far has not alleviated residents’ concerns and many feel they are not being listened to by the council.”
In response, a North Tyneside Council spokesman said: “Inevitably, heavy rainfall does cause localised drainage issues in different areas of the borough, but our teams are familiar with these and keep a close eye on local accumulations of surface water.
“The recent winter weather, followed by heavy rain, caused an accumulation but this had little local impact.
“Across the borough, we’ve had no reports of homes or businesses being flooded.
“Reducing the risk of flooding is a top priority for the council and we’ve invested £4.5million in flood alleviation plans.
“We’re pleased that these schemes have proven effective during heavy rainfall.”
Mr Brockbank also referred to 3,000 new homes at the Murton Gap site that will be built over the next decade or so as part of the North Tyneside Local Plan, an area 240 hectares in size covering parts of Monkseaton, South Wellfield, Shiremoor, New York and Preston Grange.
He said: “Residents are rightfully worried that the new homes will offset the prevention scheme work and make flooding issues worse.”
On this point, the council spokesman said: “Monkseaton has previously been subject to flooding due to excessive water running off from the fields at the Murton Gap site.
“The Local Plan helps us to address this – it has given us the opportunity to install storage basins to the west of Monkseaton, improve drainage ditches and install raised earth mounds to protect at-risk properties.
“Under the adopted Local Plan and in accordance with the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, proposed developments must demonstrate that they will mitigate their own surface water.”
The council statement also went into detail about the planned scheme at Murton Gap.
It said: ‘It is proposed that half the land at Murton Gap is used for development and the remainder for agricultural, recreational use or havens for wildlife.
‘These would include new ponds that would have a crucial role in managing surface water in the natural environment, therefore reducing the risk of flooding.
‘A number of agencies, including Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency, were key partners when preparing the Local Plan.
‘Both agencies, as well as the Government’s planning inspector, are satisfied that it will help to reduce the risk of flooding in the Monkseaton and Whitley Bay areas.’