Proposals need to take flood risk into consideration

First published in Salisbury Letters

THE proposals described for the new development by Salisbury Site LLP and the acknowledgement by Mr Culverhouse to have listened to public comments (Journal, February 27) are to be welcomed.

But I do wonder if he has listened to the ‘voice of nature’ in terms of flooding.

Mr Culverhouse’s remarks would seem to indicate a release of water from the drainage posts to coincide with a flood situation.

That would indicate that the water has breached the riverbank level and that the flow rate of the water in the river is slower downstream than that from upstream.

In this case, the water released from his drainage pools will increase the amount of flooding not decrease it, and his assertion that “nothing will make it worse” doesn’t hold water.

We should therefore sensibly conclude on this presumption that Salisbury Site LLP’s assertions cannot be taken on face value.

Furthermore, until the levels of the Avon fall below the height of the riverbank, the river will just not be capable of taking away excess water, no matter where it comes from.

Some could come from the combined weight of all the new construction envisaged.

An analogy to this would be very similar to our standing on a wet sandy shore where our weight displaces water from around our feet, creating a relatively dry area on which to stand.

Now is the time to perceive how the effects of climate change will affect the drainage of water into the river upstream and relate this to any proposal to increase the drainage and flow rates downstream.

This can’t be done from a Wiltshire Council level; it will involve a combination of effort from 10 Downing Street and many district councils and environmental agencies up and down the country.

It’s certainly not something that Salisbury Site LLP can be expected to do.

In the meantime, would it not be better to install flood defences around the vulnerable areas and buildings in the Southampton Road area?

I don’t see why Salisbury should have to wait another 60 years before any permanent improvements can be made to flooding and traffic congestion in the Southampton Road area.

AH Gibson, Winterslow

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