Fears over ‘Niagara Falls’ flooding as derelict site still empty

Residents and councillors in Arnold say their area remains “overshadowed” by a derelict site which still stands empty years after it was gutted by a fire.

The large stretch of land off Rolleston Drive, formerly home to offices before the blaze in 2017, was concreted over following the incident.

However, the sloped site has left nearby residents’ homes suffering severe flooding on numerous occasions, and years later they are still waiting for the site to be transformed.

Nottinghamshire County Council sold the land to a developer back in January, and while few details were disclosed, it is thought some 140 houses could be built on the site.

But Gedling Borough Council says there is “no visible sign” of progress.

Steve Taylor, who has lived in Brook Gardens for 49 years, says he has been flooded seven times, with the issue exasperated by the concreted site which slopes down to his home.

“They have been and done the drains so it is something we do not want to happen again,” he told Nottinghamshire Live.

“In June last year we heard this almighty crack and all the fence panels went and water went all the way down.

“My shed ended up [a few gardens down]. It took us two or three days to clean up, I got the fire brigade down here. It was like Niagara Falls.

“They have been on about houses, a school, we just want it developed. If it has got to be houses, it has got to be houses.”

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Another resident of Brook Gardens, Bob Mitchell, says his garden has been completely submerged numerous times as a result of the site.

He said: “I cannot stop mine flooding.

“I had a tonne of top soil and that’s all gone now. They have said it might become houses – I heard a care home.

“I’m not bothered as long as they get the drainage right. It is a nice area. We do not get a lot of trouble or anything, but we’ve just been left with this.

Councillor Michael Payne, deputy leader of Gedling Borough Council, and councillor John Clarke, leader of the council, both expressed their dismay at the lack of action.

Councillor Payne told Nottinghamshire Live: “Over three years since the fire at the county council owned Rolleston Drive site and there is absolutely no visible sign of progress to make use of the land.

“Three years on the site remains an absolute eyesore in the local community – nearby residents have had to put up with the sight of an overgrown concrete jungle for far too long.

“It’s time for the county council and developer to immediately tidy this site up and swiftly put it to good use. We’ve heard enough of excuses, we just want to see action.”

Councillor Clarke added: “[The area] is overshadowed with this. We are keeping the lagoon clear from a Gedling point of view.

“Less than a mile away we are ripping fields up to build homes, when we have this here. It’s a shame because we could get some quite reasonable properties on there.

“I even saw a school at one point, let’s just make a decision. The residents have put up with it enough already.”

Nottinghamshire Live – Local News