Villagers’ fury over new homes ‘mud flood’

Mud-spattered cars in Whalley Road, Billington.
Mud-spattered cars in Whalley Road, Billington.

A flood of mud has been angering villagers and drivers as it washes onto the main road through Billington.

Rain has been washing liquid mud off the McDermott Homes site and across Whalley Road, blocking drains, making a hazard for vehicles and leaving parked cars coated.

Mud-spattered cars in Whalley Road, Billington.

Mud-spattered cars in Whalley Road, Billington.

Local councillors have even asked for the work to be halted until the problem is tackled. Resident Mr Brian Haworth (78), of Hacking Park, said: “It’s disgraceful. It’s spread out over at least 200 yards and it’s an absolute mess,”

“We’re having to wash our cars every day to get the mud off.

“I saw a motorcyclist very nearly come off his bike when a driver in front braked. He was obviously a skilled rider or there could have been a crash. I’ve been keeping my speed down to 10mph, but some drivers don’t slow down and the mud gets sprayed all over.”

McDermott Homes are building more than 50 homes on the the former Wilkinson’s transport depot site on sloping ground between Painter Wood and Whalley Road. The development had been opposed by some residents and councillors. Billington and Old Langho councillors Ged Mirfin and Carl Ross have taken up complaints from residents about the mud. Coun Mirfin said: “It’s by far the biggest source of complaints to myself and my colleague.

“The combination of water which is cascading off the site and the liquid mud running of the embankments creates a very dangerous situation.

“Vehicles have skidding on it, including my own, and there’s the potential for a very serious accident.”

Coun Mirfin added a condition of planning consent from Ribble Valley Borough Council was for a wheel-washer to be installed for vehicles leaving the site, but this had not happened. He added: “There are also problems with noise and vibrations from the site, which affects people working from home in the technology sector. Residents have also told me about an increased number of rats with the site being disturbed.”

A spokesman for McDermott Homes, based at Altham, said: “Unfortunately some disruption to the neighbourhood is inevitable when a site is under development, but we do endeavour to limit any inconvenience.

“We have had discussions with local residents and have dealt with issues as they have arisen. We will continue to work with the residents and the local authority to ensure problems are dealt with quickly.”