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West Norfolk borough councillor Colin Rose digs new ditch to stop flooding at Upwell Health Centre





A frustrated councillor took matters into his own hands and helped to ease flooding issues at a GP surgery by digging a new ditch.

Blockages in drainage channels around Upwell Health Centre have contributed to large portions of its car park being covered by excess water in recent years.

Independent West Norfolk borough councillor Colin Rose, who represents the Upwell and Delph ward, became aware of the issue through that role and his position on the Churchfield and Plawfield Internal Drainage Board.

Flooding at Upwell Health Centre has been regular in recent years
Flooding at Upwell Health Centre has been regular in recent years

Due to there being a number of separate landowners around the Townley Close surgery, which is connected to the Welle Pharmacy, there were struggles in working out who was responsible for controlling the flooding.

Cllr Rose deemed the borough council to be the only body “with enough staff to accomplish the necessary administration” – but he opted to take action himself.

“From my point of view things came into perspective when my wife had to go to the Welle Pharmacy and was the first person to directly complain to me about the flooding proble on March 10,” he said.

Flooding issues at Upwell Health Centre have been lessened
Flooding issues at Upwell Health Centre have been lessened

“I went to have a look, returned home for a spade and dug out the two overgrown overflow channels. All it took was a spade.

“Two torrents left the car park but some water remained. I was then advised on March 14 by a parish councillor on site that there was at least one blocked drain; there were later found to be two.”

Cllr Rose believes the work was originally planned to cost around £25,000 to carry out, and that his “simple solution has saved a lot of time, paperwork and considerable expense”.

He also received assistance in cutting straight across to the Lister’s Road ditch, providing another route to get rid of excess water.

A new ditch dug at the medical centre
A new ditch dug at the medical centre

A borough council spokesperson said it has been working with the health centre, Upwell Parish Council, ward members, the internal drainage board and surrounding landowners to find a solution to the problem.

It has also carried out further work at the site in order to try and prevent further flooding in the latter months of the year.

The spokesperson said: “There is a complex network of drainage channels around Upwell Health Centre and we are aware of blockages in some of these channels that have caused periodic flooding issues, particularly to the adjacent borough council car park located on Townley Close.

“We have cleared sections of the drain that runs along the eastern boundary of the Upwell community car park and to the rear of some nearby residential properties and a new channel has been dug by the landowner further to the east of the car park which seems to have alleviated some of the localised flooding issues.

“We plan to monitor the area over a full ‘wet season’ (full winter) to see if this has resolved the issue. We will review the situation in the spring and take any further remedial action if required.”



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