'This problem has gone on for far too long': Plans put forward to close a Harborough car park before it floods during heavy rain

Harborough MP held talks with the landowners to discuss what could be done

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 5:07 pm

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien is backing moves being put forward to close a notorious Market Harborough car park before it floods during heavy rain.

The Conservative MP spoke after holding talks with Hazelton Homes (East Midlands) Limited, which owns the Welland Quarter site opposite the town’s railway station.

Speaking after the meeting, which also involved Harborough council and the Environment Agency, MP Neil told the Harborough Mail: “This problem has gone on for far too long.

Neil O'Brien MP at the flooded car park.

“Far too many drivers have had their cars and vehicles seriously damaged by flooding there over the years.

“So it’s good to hear that the owner aims to take some action to stop this at last.”

The car park, which sits on a “functional floodplain” off Rockingham Road where the River Jordan and River Welland meet up, is overwhelmed every time it rains hard.

“Hazelton Homes tell us that they are going to increase the number of signs they have there warning motorists that there is a flood risk at this site,” said Neil.

“They also plan to begin regularly monitoring the levels of the two rivers, the Jordan and the Welland.

“And they will act to close the car park if the rivers are rising to heights where they pose a threat to parked cars,” said the MP.

“The company’s also promising to look at and the long-term future of the Welland Quarter site.

“We’ve waited a long time for this meeting amid the Covid pandemic.

“But it was positive and encouraging to hear what Hazelton Homes tell us they intend to do.

“We will be doing our best to keep an eye and to make sure that they do what they are pledging to do in order to protect local people’s cars and prevent future incidents.”

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “The car park at Welland Quarter is a functional floodplain that will store water during high river flows, reducing the risk of flooding to nearby homes and businesses.

“We understand the owners are considering making the site more resilient to flooding.

“Should they wish to do so a flood risk permit will be required which we can advise upon.”