Essex village road has been destroyed by water pouring down it for 10 months

The constant water is damaging the road in Grove Hill
The constant water is damaging the road in Grove Hill -Credit:LDRS

Blocked drains have left water pouring down a road in Essex for nearly ten months - leaving deep potholes and causing damp in nearby homes. But residents of Grove Hill in Stansted Mountfitchet may not see the problem fixed for months as Essex Highways and the local water company Affinity Water appear to blame each other for the problem.

The county council has warned that the water leak has caused the road to disintegrate across its entire width but the issue is not likely to be fixed until at least the end of July. According to the parish council cars are being damaged due to potholes caused by the constant stream of water flowing down the road. Residents are even taking it upon themselves to try to fill in the potholes with tarmac, but the constant running water is washing it away again.

Householders are also complaining properties are suffering from damp due to the water. The parish council said that the "issue has been exacerbated due to blocked drains and gulleys" where "rubble and old tarmac" could be seen.

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A letter from the parish council to MP Kemi Badenoch said: “The water leak on Grove Hill is causing serious problems to residents living along the road as well as to drivers who have to use this route. In brief, there has been a water leak for around 10 months and the residents say that this started following some remedial works undertaken to the surfacing by Essex Highway. At least two properties have reported damp to us and the lady who lives in the closest house has suffered damage to her vehicle also.”

A letter from Affinity Water to local Essex county councillor Ray Gooding agreed with this view, saying that blocked gullies due to roadworks were the “significant contributor” in causing the problem. In the letter, the water company said: “Our observations, corroborated by local feedback, suggest that blocked gulleys downhill by the traffic lights, filled with debris such as tarmac, are a significant contributor to the reported water surfacing. Despite our efforts in reporting these blockages, the necessary cleaning has not been effectively carried out.

“Previously, similar issues in this vicinity were addressed by our team members, where a repair was conducted approximately 500 meters from the current trouble spot. We believe the recurring water surfacing might be exacerbated by these unaddressed blockages in the gulleys.”

However, Essex Highways say they believe the problem is a “utility issue” given the water continues running even when weather conditions are dry. They said that the gullies in Stansted Road and Grove Hill were last cleaned on January 8 and reported to be working, although there was some concrete in a gully pot which is scheduled to be removed.

Highways says it will be closing the road to investigate the problem further but this would not take place until July 15 at the earliest.

The parish council says that Cllr Gooding visited the road at the end of April with an Essex Highways officer, but Affinity Water has not engaged with them to get a multi-agency meeting set up to sort the issue.

LDRS has contacted Affinity Water for comment.