‘We are not to blame for douit flooding’

MORE than five years’ worth of flooding at a property in St Peter’s has left its owner perplexed that no-one can solve it for them.

Lady Joy Gwynne-Evans says though herself, and her husband Richard Gwynne-Evans, were told when they moved into the property, in 2015, there were no problems with flooding, they have since had nothing but problems, with huge amounts of water destroying their garden and running into the road.

It has led Guernsey Water to advise them they may now need to pay for callouts.

Lady Gwynne-Evans believes this is unfair.

‘When we were in the process of purchasing, we asked if there was flooding in our meadow where a douit runs through. The answer was no,’ said Lady Gwynne-Evans.

‘Since then – 2015 – we have had endless flooding and topsoil washed away along with bluebell bulbs, trees have been waterlogged and I have lost six trees.

‘This douit runs through the properties above us too, lots of people walk along this stream and it probably collects their rubbish.

‘I’ve had enough, it’s not our problem, first weeds, now this. I’ve got pictures and pictures that I could make a book.’

The couple, who have had problems in the past with fast-growing Japanese knotweed, poisonous hemlock, thistle and other weeds found in the garden, said they had raised concerns to Guernsey Water.

Lady Gwynne-Evans said they believed that pipes in the road needed to be bigger as their small size was causing blockages from water and debris coming from above their property. However, Guernsey Water responded that following a contractor’s assessment of the site, the blocked culvert leading away from the property was as a result of debris from their property and any charges for callouts to unblock it may be incurred by them in future.

Debris found to be causing the build-up of water, includes medicine bottles, cans, twigs, dummies, balls and bottles.

It is something the couple deny is their fault, as Lady Gwynne-Evans is 69 and her husband is in his 70s. Both of whom have also been affected by cancer in the last three years.

‘Guernsey Water now want to charge us every time this happens instead of putting a bigger pipe in,’ said Lady Gwynne-Evans.

‘We have been told by them that the pipes under the road are big enough, but after speaking to a retired civil engineer he said they were too small.

‘The amount of water and debris that comes down from higher up us blocks the small pipes.

‘My husband has cancer and I have recently had surgery and we are nearly both in our 70s, we don’t want this at our age, but nobody in the States wants to help rectify this ongoing problem permanently.’

Following a request from the Guernsey Press, Guernsey Water said: ‘Although we are unable to comment on individual customer cases, we endeavour to assist customers wherever practicable with any private surface water issues.

‘Unfortunately, providing physical solutions free of charge is not always an option. In these instances, options for resolution are suggested but it is the owners’ responsibility to ensure free flow of water from their property.

‘The responsibility for ascertaining flood risk is a subject that needs addressing by property owners, purchasers and estate agents.’

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