Concerns over Maidenhill plan

Flooding after heavy rain is a problem in Newton Mearns
Flooding after heavy rain is a problem in Newton Mearns

An angry war-of-words has broken out over a proposed housing development in Newton Mearns and an allegation it will aggravate local flooding.

The Newton Mearns Residents Flood Prevention Group (NMRFPG) have accused Scottish Water of pandering to the needs of the developers and ignoring their concerns.

The group claim that the current pre-war sewage system infrastructure in Newton Mearns is so antiquated - and already working to capacity - that during heavy rainfall it overflows carrying raw sewage into gardens and the Auldhouse Burn, which forms the waterfall in Rouken Glen Park.

A spokesman for the group said: “The latest development pressure on the existing sewers is the Maidenhill masterplan. This development will see the addition of a further 1060 residential properties, a new school, nursery and religious facility. The plan is that these will all be connected to the existing pre-war sewer.

“The pressure tostart this development is so great that Scottish Water has agreed to connect the first 400 properties without upgrading the sewer infrastructure. This will further increase the risk of flooding.”

The Newton Mearns Residents Flood Prevention Group is campaigning to have a new purpose-built sewer constructed to modern standards before the houses are built. Scottish Water estimates that cost to be £2.65M.

A spokesman for Scottish Water commented: “Any new proposed development site is required to demonstrate a zero impact on the existing Scottish Water network and that it can accommodate flows or will be upgraded accordingly, ensuring that Scottish Water continues to meet its statutory requirements and performance measures.”

When The Extra queried how they could demonstrate a ‘zero impact’ when sewers overflow already, they said: “There is sufficient capacity at the moment for the first 400 houses in the Maidenhall development.

“The development site was subject to a Drainage Impact Assessment (DIA) and it is anticipated that the required mitigation works highlighted in the DIA should adequately allow for these proposals (ie, the whole development).

“The impact of the development on the sewer infrastructure will involve foul only connections and is far reduced compared with historical combined connections. Other water, such as run-off from roofs and roads, will be dealt with by Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and will not go into the sewers.

“We are confident that this development is not going to cause any network issues.”

The NMRFPG responded by saying: “The Development Impact Assessment does not demonstrate that 400 properties can be added without causing detriment. The DIA clearly shows that the current sewer overflows and that adding additional properties to the sewer can only increase the flood risk locally.

“The proper solution is required now, not after 400 houses have been built.”

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “As part of any planning application for a major development a drainage strategy report is prepared by a specialist hydrologist to outline how surface water run-off will be managed. The necessary checks are then carried out to ensure that the proposed drainage measures comply with the council’s requirements in our role as Flood Prevention Authority. We are satisfied that the proposals put forward, which includes the installation of drainage systems at four separate parts of the site, will control surface water run-off rates at the required level.

“In addition, we continue to work closely with Scottish Water colleagues to discuss ongoing improvements being made to its wider drainage network.”