St Ives campaigners call for brook to be cleared to prevent flooding

Heavy rain has built up along the Marley Gap Brook after a downpour led to flash floods.

Heavy rain has built up along the Marley Gap Brook after a downpour led to flash floods in the early hours of Wednesday (October 20). - Credit: Mathew Setchell

Campaigners are calling for an overgrown brook to be cleared to prevent future floods from wrecking homes in St Ives. 

Heavy rain has built up along the Marley Gap Brook after a downpour led to flash floods in the early hours of Wednesday (October 20). 

The brook, which becomes Parsons Drove Drain, rises north of the Wyton Airfield and flows alongside Somersham Road.  

When the worst floods hit the region in 20 years last Christmas, more than £3m in damage was caused to local businesses in the area. 

It meant that the catchment of Parsons Drove Drain flooded Costa, McDonalds, Subway and other independent businesses – some to the value of £700,000.   

After heavy rain raised concerns among residents last week, they fear that they may have to take action into their own hands to clear the Marley Gap Brook.   

Marley Brook Gap flooded last Christmas - now residents fear it will happen again.

Marley Brook Gap flooded last Christmas - now residents fear it will happen again. - Credit: Mathew Setchell

Mathew Setchell, chairman of St Ives Flood Action Group, said: “It needs clearing and proper dredging. Parsons Drove is the root of the problem and when it rains heavy, we have no clue what will happen next. 

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“Some people have not moved back into their homes yet, all these months later. 

“We are having reoccurring issues, that due to poor maintenance, the surface water has got nowhere to go and it is causing disruption. 

“Nearby Berkeley Parks caravan site has over 70 residents aged 50 and over who could lose their homes if flash floods occur. 

“One elderly man had to transported to hospital via a 4x4 as an ambulance couldn’t get to the site in the floods last year. 

“We need reassurance that the various agencies do want to sort the problems out.” 

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We inspected the site at Marley Gap Brook following the heavy rain last week and concluded that any blockages caused were likely due to the large amount of rainfall that fell in a short space of time.

"We are carrying out a review into drainage issues in the area and we will continue to liaise with the local community to address their concerns.

“If anyone spots any blockages or issues of immediate concern affecting the flow of water, please contact our National Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

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