While work is ongoing at Brown’s Hill in Penryn to reinstate a flood-prone culvert, one resident has been commended for his work in stemming the tide.
Nick Lauder lives in the Millennium Apartments development at Brown’s Hill, which is bordered by a stream which has burst its banks repeatedly this winter, and he and a companion have put in many hours attempting to keep the culvert under the road clear and prevent flooding.
So prominent has his work been that at a meeting of Penryn Town Councillors in January, Councillor Mary May recognised that he had been “extremely helpful in clearing debris and liaising with residents.”
Mr Lauder said: “We’ve had this problem for well over 12 months, since the responsibility for looking after streams was handed from Cornwall Council to the Environment Agency.
“The Environment Agency tells the council they’re not allowed to clear the stream or cut back the greenery because it could damage the environment.
“I respect the council but at times like this they’re constrained by money and legislation.
“Now people have to take responsibility themselves in order to try and resolve the problem.”
“Andy [Hoskin, at Cormac solutions, who is in charge of the work] and his team are doing a wonderful job working in dreadful conditions, though it took a long time to get there.”
Mr Lauder believes part of the problem is caused by the amount of litter which ends up in the stream, especially as there is no grate at the entrance to the culvert.
Laurie Andrews, from Cornwall Council’s media relations team, said: “Works are currently progressing to reinstate a collapsed river culvert that goes under the carriageway at Brown's Hill.
“For public safety reasons the road has been closed since on-site investigation work commenced recently. Currently, we are awaiting the delivery of a new 750mm concrete pipe to permit reinstatement of the culvert. Efforts are being concentrated in getting the road reinstated at the earliest opportunity; however at this stage it is not possible to confirm a completion date for the work.
“The road will remain closed until such time as works have been completed.”