A PROPERTY development firm whose new housing estate was seriously affected by flooding earlier this month has said ‘extremely unconventional’ drainage on land owned by another housebuilding company may have added to the problems.

Flooding in Horwich on May 16 caused many homes and businesses to be inundated with water and schools were forced to close during the following week due to being breached.

One badly-affected area was the new Rivington Grange development on the old college campus site, off Victoria Road, which has more than 100 new homes.

Jones Homes North West, which built those houses, has speculated that issues could have been made worse by drainage issues at nearby Horwich Golf Course, which is itself a potential development site, owned by Peel Holdings.

They have had planning permission for houses on the golf course refused by Bolton Council on two occasions and are set to appeal that at a Planning Inspectorate inquiry, beginning on June 28.

A Jones Homes North West spokesman said: “Our commercial development at Middlebrook and our residential development at Rivington Grange, were subjected to exceptionally high rainfall which has resulted in certain properties on both developments being affected by floodwater.

“It is speculation at present but video footage shows a vast amount of rainwater flowing unrestricted off the golf course and onto land upstream of Rivington Grange development which has surcharged the development’s drainage system beyond its approved design capacity.

“We understand that Peel Holdings own the golf course and it is this company’s intention to question Peel for an explanation for their extremely unconventional drainage design and to involve and encourage Bolton Council and the Environment Agency to research this unfortunate matter further.

“This company intends, where possible, to ensure that all the development’s affected road gulleys are emptied and the road is kept clean until such time as they are adopted by the council.

“This is an extremely regrettable situation and we sympathise with homeowners that have been affected and we can confirm that this company is doing all it can, in conjunction with Bolton Council and the Environmental Agency, to identify the source of excessive volume of water which has surcharged the drainage scheme on our Rivington Grange development.

“We can confirm the drainage system including the concrete headwall have been designed and installed to the specification agreed and approved by United Utilities and the Environment Agency.”

Phil Wilson, executive director for land, communities and homebuilding at Peel, said: “We sympathise with anyone affected by the recent flooding in Horwich and will await the outcome of review into the cause.

“Any proposals that we put forward for developments have to fulfil drainage requirements of the relevant authorities.”