CLAIMS from campaigners that roads will become rivers if more developments are allowed in Rochford have been dismissed.

Homeowners have been left wondering if they would be better off with boats than cars for travel after increased periods of flooding.

However both Rochford Council and developers insist regulations to prevent flooding are being followed and the issue is being taken seriously.

The borough is seeing an almost unprecedented level of house building and planning applications, with existing residents worried about what it will mean for flood water and the safety of their homes.

A 75-year-old from Spencer Gardens said: “There’s a real issue already around here with flooding. Something needs to be done. It will be a disaster in many ways.

“I’ve lived here for four years and it’s been badly flooded at least half a dozen times.

“The road becomes a river.

“The drains outside my house can’t cope at all.

“The water flows down my drive and into my back garden.

“My daughter lives on Vaughan Close and their road is badly flooded a lot of the time. It’s like a lake.

“It only takes a sudden downpour and it’s flooded again. The water doesn’t disappear. Everyone knows that it’s going to happen, and will continue to.”

She has raised concerns about the 660 Bloor Homes development on Ashingdon Road, claiming it will simply worsen the problem.

Christine Austin, a campaigner against the Ashingdon Road development, said the area already has severe flooding problems, as well as traffic issues.

She said: “We’ve raised issues so many times about flooding. The existing homes are already struggling. There are problems even before the 660 homes are built.

“There are no plans on how to deal with the flooding in the planning applications. This should not be happening. The 660 homes are planned to be built on fields which are at serious risk of flooding. Unsuspecting buyers will purchase those houses, not knowing they could be flooded.”

A spokesman for Bloor Homes said: “We are working to agree a flood alleviation scheme.

“This is designed to reduce the volumes of water that currently leave the site, causing flooding in adjacent areas, therefore improving the current situation.

“Any planning application submitted by Bloor Homes will have been subjected to consultation with both the Environment Agency and the local lead flood authority.

“We will be adhering to all the necessary requirements ensuring that the risk of flooding isn’t increased as a consequence of the development itself by providing further storm water storage.”

Other developments have also caused concern including one in Hall Road and others on Barrow Hall Road.

Mike Steptoe, leader of Rochford District Council, denied claims that nothing is being done to prevent homes flooding. He said: “As part of the Hall Road development, there are several water run offs that gradually send the water away that adequately deals with the flood water.

“I would urge residents to come along to the flood forum which the council is hosting on January 27 at the Civic Centre in Rayleigh at 10am.

“It’s a public meeting, anyone can come.

“Residents can air the concerns there and discuss flooding issues.

“The planning department always takes flooding into consideration.”

Planning applications are required to address infrastructure, nature and flooding concerns among others.

There are strict rules regarding development on flood plains but more developments can mean fewer places for water to be drained.