A FLOODED public footpath is a health and safety risk for walkers between Moulton and Davenham, according to concerned residents.

Fears have been raised that the flood disguises the drop-off to a 5ft ditch next to the path, which runs alongside the site where up to 148 homes are being built in Moulton.

Laurence Bradbury, from Eaton House Farm, in Davenham, raised the issue at the latest Moulton Parish Council meeting.

"There's 12in of water pooling over the public footpath," he said.

"You can't see where the public footpath is and it drops off into a 5ft ditch."

He added: "I'm frightened of little kids running along the fence and dropping straight into it."

A fellow resident said: "It's gone past a normal issue on a public right of way, it's now a health and safety issue.

"I'm stopping Outward Bound children going down there at the weekend with their maps because if they go 1ft or 2ft to the right they're in a 5ft ditch."

Parish councillors said they had also attempted to use the path and agreed it was dangerous.

Cllr Denise Watkinson said: "I ended up falling into the barbed wire fence, luckily I was wearing a coat but it was very very dangerous.

"People can't walk along there, the water would go over the top of their wellingtons."

She added: "That's a very very well used footpath and with the other footpath being closed it's very very bad."

Cllr Allan Aston, parish council chairman, said: "I attempted to cross it myself, cut myself on the barbed wire and gave up after about 15ft because I could see it getting worse.

"I think it's where Bovis is attempting to build a swale but it's exacerbating it.

"The water is going into the ditch and it's coming out of the ditch on to the footpath."

Cllr Helen Weltman, Davenham and Moulton ward councillor on Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) said she will be attending a site meeting with representatives of Bovis and a CWAC public rights of way officer to discuss the issue.