Thursday, January 31, 2013
IN response to MP Steve Barclay’s campaign to build a causeway over the A1101 Wash Road, Welney.
This would cause problems to people needing to access their properties off the existing wash road, which gives access to fields on the Ouse Washes either side.
Therefore it seems logical that the existing road needs to remain where it is and any new structure would need to bypass Welney altogether.
The Ouse Washes prevent our low lying Fenland from flooding. The A1101 at Welney floods less now than at any other time during its history thanks to the Environment Agency, Middle Level Commissioners and the internal drainage board working together to move the water off quickly during times of heavy rain.
Last year was an exceptional year and it is not only Fenland which has been flooded, albeit we have probably got off lightly in comparison to other counties hit by floods.
While I accept businesses do suffer when the causeway floods, it is not the closure of the road harming business but the way people now live their lives.
I do wonder, however, why people move into an area where they know flooding takes place if they are not willing to accept from time to time the road may not be passable?
The flooding of this Wash Road isn’t a new. It’s been doing it since the washes were first constructed and floods at Earith, Sutton and Welney, with Sutton having a raised wooden walkway to allow foot passage to the village.
During the last government John Prescott wrote to landowners with land adjacent to the A1101 asking if we would give permission for a walkway to be constructed to allow foot access.
We declined that request because we purchased our property for shooting during the winter months. To allow foot access would prevent us from using the property for which it was purchased for - shooting.
Shooting makes the property hold its value. Out of perhaps a dozen properties all accessed off the A1101 causeway, five are shot over on a regular basis throughout the winter. Three belong to shooting clubs and two are in private hands.
The fact that they are shot over makes them very expensive properties worth well in excess of £10,000 per acre. Only recently nine acres of washland at an out-of-the-way location sold for in excess of £90,000.
A bridge over the existing causeway would be a bridge too far and wipe out the value of those properties in one go.
There is a lot at stake here, besides the revenue the local landlord lost in his trade.
Ely & District Wildfowler’s Association