Flooding misery

Basingstoke Gazette: Clare Smiley, with her sons Ollie, six, and Freddie, 11, outside their Pound Cottage home Clare Smiley, with her sons Ollie, six, and Freddie, 11, outside their Pound Cottage home

A COUPLE have been left upset and frustrated after their 300-year-old home bore the brunt of more flooding from a nearby road.

Clare Smiley, 44, her husband Christopher and three sons – Edward, 13, Freddie, 11 and Ollie, six – live in Pound Cottage, a Grade II listed building in Wolverton Townsend, near Kingsclere.

The land around the family home was badly affected after the blockage of a drain on the road outside the property caused flooding, leaving the garden waterlogged.

This is not the first time that the family has been affected by floodwater. The couple have spent £3,000 replastering the downstairs rooms at the cottage after it flooded in February.

The mum raised concerns about the flooding problem on November 4 at a meeting at the cottage, attended by Hampshire County Councillor Warwick Lovegrove, borough councillor for Baughurst and Tadley North Michael Bound, and Daniel Beasant, an assistant highways engineer at the county council.

Mrs Smiley was devastated at the impact of the latest flooding, which happened last week. She told The Gazette: “We have had two sleepless nights and the children have been in tears – it is just not right.

“The children are just getting a Christmas stocking this year. We just can’t take the expenditure. We have had no downstairs toilet for three months while the works have been carried out. All the council needs to do is come here for a day to sort it out.

“I am normally a happy person but this has brought me down. It’s devastating – it makes me feel so sick. The council should listen to a petition that has more than 20 signatures of local residents on it.”

Asked what Hampshire County Council would be doing to address the problem, Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment, said: “Our highways team are doing all they can to resolve the flooding issue in the area.

“The site is now dry and sandbagged against further rain. Having jetted all the gullies and drainage pipes to clear them, we can now see that the problem is a blocked culvert under the road.

“Immediate action is being taken to resolve this. Contractors started work last Thursday and worked over the weekend to ensure it is completed.

“I hope this will mean that the family no longer have to endure what must be a particularly unpleasant experience around their home.”

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