5:32am Thursday 14th January 2016
By David Knights
A SILSDEN politician has demanded an in-depth survey of local watercourses be carried out as soon as possible following the town’s flood misery.
Cllr Adrian Naylor fears that Silsden will face far worse problems in future years due to huge house-building and deteriorating waterways.
He claimed there was an urgent need to clear Silsden Beck – focus of last month’s flooding – where rubble and trees had become log-jammed and near Clog Bridge.
He said this should be followed by a comprehensive investigation into how hundreds of planned new houses could put pressure on infrastructure such as groundwater drainage and the sewage network.
Cllr Naylor, who sits on both Bradford and Silsden councils, said he was pleased that repairs were due to be carried over the next few days to a long crack that appeared on St John Street alongside the beck following the flooding.
He said this left Silsden’s main problem as a build-up of stones and vegetation in the beck under Clog Bridge, near the junction of Kirkgate and Howden Road.
He said there appeared to have been little maintenance in recent years along the course of the beck, which eventually joins the River Aire.
He said: “Trees have been allowed to grow out of the banks. Over successive years, stones and debris have been taken down the waterway.
“At Clog Bridge, although there are two arches, only one takes water – the other is dry rubble has built up higher than the water.
“In normal circumstances there isn’t an issue, but one when you get torrential water going down there it backs up.”
“It backed up towards properties where kitchens are normally only just above the water. When there’s a downpour you have stones and trees coming against your window, and one tap could break them.”
He said that in recent days he had looked at the condition of the beck at various points from Silsden Park down to Belton Road.
He believed responsibility for the beck’s upkeep lay with different agencies in different places, including the Environment Agency and Bradford Council.
Cllr Naylor renewed his call for a masterplan looking at Silsden’s infrastructure needs in the light of the potential 1,200 new houses over the next 15 years.
He feared that some houses would be built on the floodplain between the River Aire and Silsden, and others could disrupt the dispersal of ground water.
He added: “A more significant problem is that the Aire Valley trunk sewer is at capacity and 1,000 new houses will add to the problem.