RESIDENTS living near the Bessy Brook river gauge have spoken out about the nightmare they go through every time there is heavy rainfall.

Over the past six months, the government’s flood information service has issued at least three flood warnings for the Lostock stream - meaning flooding is “expected”.

Each time, the water levels have dropped before flooding occurs but one resident at the Heaton and Lostock area forum said it is giving people sleepless nights.

He said: “It’s been going on for a number of years now and it’s destroying our lives.

“If it rains heavily like it did a few weeks ago, we’re going out at 3am and 5am checking water levels.

“We can’t sleep. It’s affecting our health - I’m having chest pains. Some people are OAPs checking water levels. You’ve got people crying and all sorts.

“Something needs to be done about it because we can’t live like that.”

Another resident raised concerns about rising water levels and asked whether there was special provisions made when large residential planning applications are approved in the vicinity of river gauges such as Bessy Brook.

The stream starts at High Rid reservoir and winds through Lostock, through a number of residential areas before joining Middle Brook near Lostock Railway Station.

Cllr Bob Allen, ward councillor for Heaton and Lostock said he is well aware of the issues and pledged to contact the relevant bodies in order to find a solution.

He replied: “It’s a serious issue. Over the years I’ve been in touch with various people who live around there.

“If there’s a development in say, Horwich, it’s up to the Environment Agency to say what impact that might have.

“Some of the problems with Bessy Brook are the blockages.

“The council’s drainage engineers are also consulted so perhaps we need to talk to them and push the Environment Agency again.”

The most recent flood warning for the area was just three weeks ago and the resident living near Bessy Brook is worried about other bodies of water overflowing as well, if a solution is not found.

He added: “It’s going to get to a point where it can’t deal with all the water coming down and it’s going to have to be diverted somewhere else.

“We keep getting warning after warning and if we have to get up in the middle of the night with a torch out to see what’s going on.

“It’s going to get to a point where Middle Brook is probably going to overflow as well.”

Cllr Allen concluded: “I completely agree with you.”