Family blame mines work for leaving OAP stranded
The family of an elderly Combe Down resident claim she is regularly left marooned by muddy water after the area's mines were filled in.
Pearl Phillips, 90, of Tyning Place, has lived in her home for 30 years but her family say she can no longer venture out when it rains because of localised flooding.
The Phillips family say that since the completion of the Combe Down Stone Mines stabilisation project, which involved 60 acres of limestone mine being filled with foamed concrete, rain water can no longer drain away.
Council officials say there is no evidence to link the build-up of water with the flagship project to protect hundreds of homes and dozens of roads from collapse.
Dyson DC50i - Bagless upright vacuum cleaner - BALL Technology -...View details
Thisi is Dyson's smallest upright vacuum cleaner with the performance of a full size upright machine. The DC50i has Dyson's most advanced cleaner head technology and 2 Tier RadialTM cyclones.
Terms: LIMITED STOCK OFFER. FREE delivery to most UK postcodes - Next working day dispatch.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
But Mrs Phillips' son Robin, who also lives in Combe Down, said there was no problem before the mines were filled.
He said: "We are not in any way denigrating the project because it was a brilliant job but what's happened now is where the flood water used to disseminate into the mines, now they are filled in with concrete there's nowhere for it to go."
Mr Phillips said the water on the lane was so hazardous that duckboards had to be put down to enable health visitors and her GP to visit his mother.
The surface of Tyning Place - which is a private road - now needs to be re-laid because of damage caused by standing water.
He said: "The residents want to have the surface redone. They even have a fund set up, but contractors have said until we address the issue of the water draining away we're wasting our money."
Not long after the mines stabilisation project was completed in 2009 the Phillips family raised the problem of localised flooding and were told by the project team that 16-metre boreholes would be dug but after three years this work has still not happened.
The £166-million scheme – funded by the Government's Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and overseen by Bath and North East Somerset Council – took eight years to complete and helped protect the 700 houses that lie over the mines.
A council spokesman said the authority had sympathy for Mrs Phillips but insisted that the mines project was not responsible for the flooding, and that it had been seen as early as 2006.
He said: "The monitoring and tests of groundwater drainage revealed that the stabilisation of the mines did not significantly reduce the flow of surface water into the ground.
"Our records suggest that ponding on this lane occurred prior to the mine below being stabilised."
The spokesman added that Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib Dem, Combe Down) would be happy to meet Mr Phillips and his mother to explain the situation in greater detail and see if the council could provide any assistance.