Flood victims in Uttlesford to be eligible for Council Tax rebates

Mike Hibbs

Mike Hibbs - Credit: Archant

Victims of the flash flooding which damaged households in Thaxted and Saffron Walden will be eligible for council tax rebates, it has been announced.

Uttlesford District Council has announced it will be adopting a Council Tax Adverse Weather Flood Policy, which will grant reductions or exemptions for households displaced by flooding.

The compensation has a maximum time span of six months.

Upon ratifying the implementation of the new Council Tax relief at a cabinet meeting, Uttlesford District Council ensured that the policy was backdated to July 1 of this year, to incorporate victims affected by flash flooding on July 27 and July 28.

Parliamentary candidate for Saffron Walden, Mike Hibbs, welcomed the change but said the issue of flooding across Uttlesford needed to be addressed.

“This rebate is only a sticking plaster, the council needs to address this issue, and it’s evident that the flooding has affected areas where new development is an issue,” he said.

Councillor Martin Foley, district council representative for Thaxted, was also pleased to hear about the additional financial support, but argued that the council needed to address the reason why flash flooding adversely affected Thaxted so badly in July.

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Speaking to the Reporter, Cllr Foley blamed the flooding in the town on the recent spate of housing developments in the area, which have stretched the town’s antiquated drainage system.

“With the drains not able to cope, we are going to have to get used to this,” said Cllr Foley.

“There has already been around £1.2million paid through insurance claims for Thaxted alone, and it is all down to developments being built, with no forethought to lack of infrastructure.

“There are still some people in the council who think this is a freak occurrence or an act of god, but bad drainage is an act of man.”

The flooding has solidified residents’ opposition to further housing applications in the area, which is spearheaded by the Hands Off Thaxted group.

Cllr Foley added: “It is ridiculous that speculative companies can run roughshod over people and their health. The flooding shows that more development won’t only cause environmental issues in the area, but could also risk lives.”

Cllr Foley also argued that further development of Thaxted could result in flooding implications for neighbouring villages.

“These planning applications haven’t looked into the complete lack of infrastructure to cater for hundreds more houses in the area. People from Duton Hill and Clavering could be affected with flooding if development continues.”

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