The flooding has made sheds and back-gardens inaccessible
Furious home-owners in Harris have hit out at Hebridean Housing Partnership, after being told to pay towards drain clearage on land belonging to HHP.
Residents of Scott Road square, in Tarbert, regularly have to put up with flooding in and around their properties due to a blockage on land behind Scott Road which causes excess water to run down into the street.
At times, the flooding is so bad they cannot leave their homes.
HHP have admitted that they own the land where the blockage is situated, but insist that the resolution is a ‘shared responsibility’.
HHP Director of Operations, John Maciver, told www.welovetheisleofharris.com: “The drain runs behind a row of houses and half these properties are privately owned while half are in our ownership.
“Our position is that this is a shared responsibility between all the owners, including ourselves.
“This drain runs across that area of land from land owned by others, so this is just a section of the watercourse that runs behind these houses.”
A letter to homeowners from HHP reads: “HHP are about to commence the Scott Road drainage within the next two months.
“The total cost for the work is estimated to be £526.21+VAT per house.
“As an owner/occupier you have a shared responsibility for the work being carried out to the drainage. You will be invoiced for £263.11+VAT which is due within 14 days of completion and £263.10+VAT due within two months of completion.”
John McNally (79), is a home-owner who lives at 19 Scott Road.
He says the flooding has made life miserable for residents of that part of the street.
“This is not anything to do with us, the blockage is not on our property,” he said.
“We are not making the problem, we pay council tax, so why are we being asked to pay for this work?
“Surely whoever is responsible for the problem should be the one who pays to fix it?”
A petition signed by all homeowners reveals the misery they have suffered in recent months.
One comment reads: “Awoke this morning to flooding in the back garden once again. This is very disheartening for us as we are trying to improve/landscape our back garden.
“Our shed is also flooded. We have a freezer and tumble dryer in the shed and last night the water covered the floor.”
Stated another resident: “I need wellies to get out my front door and every time we get a lot of rain my garden is flooded.
“My biggest concern is that it might be going under my home.”
John McNally added: “If my next door neighbour was causing flooding, I wouldn’t be expected to pay for any damage to his house, and this is the same kind of situation.
“The flooding is coming from outside our boundary fence, from a river which is on land that belongs to HHP.
“They are responsible for that – not us.
“We have taken legal advice and we have told HHP that we are not going to pay for this, but they are not listening to us.”
Residents often need wellies to leave their houses
John McNally surveys the flood damage during a recent downpour