VANDALS have defaced a sign at Leftwich’s Rose Meadow housing development to highlight concerns over flooding.

Bellway Homes has permission to build 227 homes on the site off London Road, which is also located on the banks of the River Dane.

As well as being renamed ‘Flood Meadow’, someone has also crossed out ‘coming soon’ and replaced it with ‘flooding soon’.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning committee unanimously rejected the plans in May 2018, but this decision was overturned by the Government’s planning inspectorate in March last year.

Before being reversed, CWAC members and residents raised major concerns over flooding risk.

And the vandalism of the Rose Meadow Sign comes exactly a year to the day since heavy rain turned both the Dane and surrounding fields into a ‘rather fine waterfall’.

Leftwich councillor Andrew Cooper found that the River Dane rose from a level of 0.17m to more than 3m on July 29 last year and then to almost 4m on August 1 – placing the area at risk of flooding on both occasions.

At the time, he said: “Anybody looking to build houses on the Dane Valley needs to think carefully about what the effects of climate change might be on that floodplain and whether it is worth the risk.”

Northwich Guardian:

Excess water from the field rushes into the River Dane like a ‘rather fine waterfall’ last year. Image: Cllr Andrew Cooper

In response to the vandalism of its sign, a Bellway spokesman said: “We do not condone this vandalism and we are arranging to have the signs replaced.

“Bellway’s Rose Meadow is a fabulous development of 227 two, three and four bedroom dwellings situated in a picturesque valley on the banks of the River Dane but handily situated near Northwich town centre and its amenities.

“Over 100 acres of Rose Meadow will remain riverside meadows. The housing will be built on an elevated platform above the flood plain.

“Bellway’s specialist consultant undertook an extensive hydraulic modelling study of the River Dane to model the effects of flooding.

“This modelling was incorporated within the flood risk assessment submitted in support of our planning application.

“The Environment Agency requires that the finished floor level of each house is set allowing for climate change and the incidence of a ‘once in a hundred years flood’, plus 600mm.

“Bellway will raise floor levels a further 400mm above this requirement. This was incorporated into the planning condition discharged in April 2019.”

Have your say by emailing