3,000 get a shock floods warning in Keighley area

Councillor Adrian Naylor, left, and Silsden mayor Councillor Chris Atkinson, with the  letter from Bradford Council warning of the risk of flooding

Councillor Adrian Naylor, left, and Silsden mayor Councillor Chris Atkinson, with the letter from Bradford Council warning of the risk of flooding

First published in Keighley by

Three thousand residents across Keighley district and the Worth Valley have been warned they are at risk if reservoirs burst.

Householders living close to six high-priority sites have been sent letters explaining their homes are within “inundation areas” that would take the full force of flooding.

Included is a booklet – Don’t Panic, Prepare – outlining what people can do to protect themselves and their property in case of emergency.

Bradford Council, which distributed the letters this week, has been accused of creating anxiety among residents and generating more questions than answers.

But it defended the move, stressing the likelihood of a reservoir breach was extremely low and there was “no cause for concern”.

Letters have been sent to people living close to Watersheddles, Ponden and Lower Laithe reservoirs, Stanbury; Leeming, above Oxenhope, Silsden reservoir and Thornton Moor.

Coun Adrian Naylor – a Silsden town councillor who also represents Craven ward on Bradford Council – said 786 properties would be affected in Silsden, the largest number of any of the identified areas.

He told us: “I’m concerned that this letter has come out. While it might be a bureaucratic notice, it will understandably cause concern to those who receive it. It may be, by warning residents of all possible eventualities, an attempt by the authorities to cover their backs.

“Why has it taken so long for this information to come out?

“Another issue is what this will do to people’s ability to obtain home insurance or sell their property if they are deemed to be in an ‘at risk’ area.”

Silsden Town Council chairman, Chris Atkinson, said: “I’m concerned about the fact over 780 properties in the town are receiving this letter.

“It will be up to individual householders to check the implications with their insurers. I would hope this doesn’t blight their properties.”

Worth Valley councillor Glen Miller, the Tory group leader on Bradford Council, also raised concerns about the potential impact on homeowners’ insurance.

Letters are going to residents in the Oxenhope and Haworth areas, both within his ward.

“We have all seen the devastation that flooding has brought to large areas in recent months and we are all aware that this and other incidents in previous years have heightened insurers’ awareness of the risks to properties at certain locations,” he said.

He added: “It would also be beneficial if local people were informed of any implications for the council’s plans relating to house building. Will building on land that could potentially be affected be prohibited or treated as any other application?

“Whilst the letter from the council to potentially affected residents is informative, it raises many important questions that need answering.”

Mike Powell, the council’s emergency planning manager, stresses that reservoirs in the Bradford district are safe and maintained to “very high standards”.

But he adds: “We and other authorities such as the Environment Agency have a statutory responsibility to prepare for any eventuality which might put people who live within the vicinity of a reservoir at risk.

"We also have a duty to advise those living near reservoirs of our plans and suggest ways people can appropriately react to any emergency which might arise, which is why we have distributed the ‘Don’t Panic’ booklet.

"There has been no increase in the risk of reservoir failure in the Bradford district.”

Comments (6)

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8:00am Thu 27 Mar 14

Mixter says...

Its on a par with stating the bleedin' obvious of if your gas boiler blows up, it will level your house.

As stated, this just gives insurance companies reason to either refuse, or inflate premiums. When if it was really thought about, it was always on the cards anyway, in the extremely unlikely event of a res failing in total.
Its on a par with stating the bleedin' obvious of if your gas boiler blows up, it will level your house. As stated, this just gives insurance companies reason to either refuse, or inflate premiums. When if it was really thought about, it was always on the cards anyway, in the extremely unlikely event of a res failing in total. Mixter
  • Score: 4

8:27pm Thu 27 Mar 14

jimmy k says...

As much as i can't stand unnecessary bureaucracy,if this had happened without any warning people would have been up in arms about it no doubt with their lawyers in tow
As much as i can't stand unnecessary bureaucracy,if this had happened without any warning people would have been up in arms about it no doubt with their lawyers in tow jimmy k
  • Score: 3

10:34pm Thu 27 Mar 14

MikkiPotts says...

Instead of just warning people they should be taking action to prevent such an event happening. Why wait until a disaster is almost apparent to highlight the lack of insight that the water authorities and Councils have in forward thinking?
These situations can be avoided with adequate planning and maintenance.

Every customer, every year receives a water bill which usually has a percentage of increase for 'improvements' made or to be made. Well, this shows that these haven't been done. Surely householders should be refunded.

I have had to live with a 'spring' that floods my garden and down the public footpath for 8 years. Yorkshire Water have been out to divert this free solution many times but have failed to do so.
If they can't control this water source, then what chance is there of them dealing with the Counties water supply properly?
If the people that have been warned and their properties are affected (I hope this doesn't happen) from floods, go straight for the Council and Water Authority for compensation.
These events are not natural disasters, they are due to financial greed and man-made negligence.
I hope those responsible for the extensive house building developments take this 'possible flood warning' into consideration when planning takes place.
Instead of just warning people they should be taking action to prevent such an event happening. Why wait until a disaster is almost apparent to highlight the lack of insight that the water authorities and Councils have in forward thinking? These situations can be avoided with adequate planning and maintenance. Every customer, every year receives a water bill which usually has a percentage of increase for 'improvements' made or to be made. Well, this shows that these haven't been done. Surely householders should be refunded. I have had to live with a 'spring' that floods my garden and down the public footpath for 8 years. Yorkshire Water have been out to divert this free solution many times but have failed to do so. If they can't control this water source, then what chance is there of them dealing with the Counties water supply properly? If the people that have been warned and their properties are affected (I hope this doesn't happen) from floods, go straight for the Council and Water Authority for compensation. These events are not natural disasters, they are due to financial greed and man-made negligence. I hope those responsible for the extensive house building developments take this 'possible flood warning' into consideration when planning takes place. MikkiPotts
  • Score: 2

12:58pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Mixter says...

jimmy k wrote:
As much as i can't stand unnecessary bureaucracy,if this had happened without any warning people would have been up in arms about it no doubt with their lawyers in tow
Jimmy, have you ever had a letter off Leeds/Bradford airport warning that if one of the planes landing/taking off over Keighley came down on your house you would be toast?

This is in the same probability scope as a res 'bursting', and washing folks houses away.
[quote][p][bold]jimmy k[/bold] wrote: As much as i can't stand unnecessary bureaucracy,if this had happened without any warning people would have been up in arms about it no doubt with their lawyers in tow[/p][/quote]Jimmy, have you ever had a letter off Leeds/Bradford airport warning that if one of the planes landing/taking off over Keighley came down on your house you would be toast? This is in the same probability scope as a res 'bursting', and washing folks houses away. Mixter
  • Score: 2

8:33pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Little Green Man says...

MikkiPotts wrote:
Instead of just warning people they should be taking action to prevent such an event happening. Why wait until a disaster is almost apparent to highlight the lack of insight that the water authorities and Councils have in forward thinking?
These situations can be avoided with adequate planning and maintenance.

Every customer, every year receives a water bill which usually has a percentage of increase for 'improvements' made or to be made. Well, this shows that these haven't been done. Surely householders should be refunded.

I have had to live with a 'spring' that floods my garden and down the public footpath for 8 years. Yorkshire Water have been out to divert this free solution many times but have failed to do so.
If they can't control this water source, then what chance is there of them dealing with the Counties water supply properly?
If the people that have been warned and their properties are affected (I hope this doesn't happen) from floods, go straight for the Council and Water Authority for compensation.
These events are not natural disasters, they are due to financial greed and man-made negligence.
I hope those responsible for the extensive house building developments take this 'possible flood warning' into consideration when planning takes place.
It doesn't prove anything - do a quick Google search, admittedly I only spent a couple of minutes looking (I'm sure Graham Forsyth would be more thorough) but there seems to be only one incident of this happening in the UK - in Holmfirth, in 1852!

This is a classic example of an authority looking for risk however small and covering their butts - frightening folk in the process.

this has nothing to do with the Water Authorities, purely Bradford Council jobsworths making mischief, where in the article does it say this is likely to happen? Where in the article does is say the water companies aren't making adequate maintenance? Where in the article does it say they are not controlling the water supplies properly?
[quote][p][bold]MikkiPotts[/bold] wrote: Instead of just warning people they should be taking action to prevent such an event happening. Why wait until a disaster is almost apparent to highlight the lack of insight that the water authorities and Councils have in forward thinking? These situations can be avoided with adequate planning and maintenance. Every customer, every year receives a water bill which usually has a percentage of increase for 'improvements' made or to be made. Well, this shows that these haven't been done. Surely householders should be refunded. I have had to live with a 'spring' that floods my garden and down the public footpath for 8 years. Yorkshire Water have been out to divert this free solution many times but have failed to do so. If they can't control this water source, then what chance is there of them dealing with the Counties water supply properly? If the people that have been warned and their properties are affected (I hope this doesn't happen) from floods, go straight for the Council and Water Authority for compensation. These events are not natural disasters, they are due to financial greed and man-made negligence. I hope those responsible for the extensive house building developments take this 'possible flood warning' into consideration when planning takes place.[/p][/quote]It doesn't prove anything - do a quick Google search, admittedly I only spent a couple of minutes looking (I'm sure Graham Forsyth would be more thorough) but there seems to be only one incident of this happening in the UK - in Holmfirth, in 1852! This is a classic example of an authority looking for risk however small and covering their butts - frightening folk in the process. this has nothing to do with the Water Authorities, purely Bradford Council jobsworths making mischief, where in the article does it say this is likely to happen? Where in the article does is say the water companies aren't making adequate maintenance? Where in the article does it say they are not controlling the water supplies properly? Little Green Man
  • Score: -1

9:13pm Sat 29 Mar 14

jimmy k says...

Mixter wrote:
jimmy k wrote:
As much as i can't stand unnecessary bureaucracy,if this had happened without any warning people would have been up in arms about it no doubt with their lawyers in tow
Jimmy, have you ever had a letter off Leeds/Bradford airport warning that if one of the planes landing/taking off over Keighley came down on your house you would be toast?

This is in the same probability scope as a res 'bursting', and washing folks houses away.
can't really argue with that
[quote][p][bold]Mixter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimmy k[/bold] wrote: As much as i can't stand unnecessary bureaucracy,if this had happened without any warning people would have been up in arms about it no doubt with their lawyers in tow[/p][/quote]Jimmy, have you ever had a letter off Leeds/Bradford airport warning that if one of the planes landing/taking off over Keighley came down on your house you would be toast? This is in the same probability scope as a res 'bursting', and washing folks houses away.[/p][/quote]can't really argue with that jimmy k
  • Score: 0

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