'It's too dangerous': Calder Valley homeowner forced to move after third flood since 2012

A Calder Valley homeowner said he has been forced to move home after being hit by three floods since 2012.

Roger Barr, 75, of Mytholmroyd, said his hand was forced after the £37 million flood defences, for the Calder Valley, failed during the weekend.

His flood-stricken home on Burnley Road, which has been hit for third time in seven-and-a-half years, sits in between the Rochdale Canal and the River Calder.

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He said: "I've been forced out of my own home to live higher in the valley.

Roger Barr and Tony Milroy

"There's no way I could live here anymore, it's too dangerous.

"There's no improvements - it's soul destroying. Apart from all this (flooding), you've got constant traffic year in year out.

"I can't be here anymore. I loved it for 35 years, [it's a] nature trap, sun trap, beautiful.

"But we've had another flood and it's a killer.

Flood-striken businesses in Mytholmroyd

"The town's economy will be hit for the third time since 2012 - this can't continue.

"The Environment Agency (EA) have not listened to the concerns raised by people living in Mytholmroyd.

"The engineering work has taken too long - they're playing around with people's lives."

The large flood defence scheme for the Calder Valley large has been described as "complex" by the EA, which also confirmed a scheme of this size would usually take four years.

VBA's main site in Mytholmroyd

The engineering work for the Calder Valley flood defences were contracted to Dutch company VBA.

Work started on the ground in Autumn 2017 – less than two years after the 2015 floods - the main construction work began in April 2018 and the defences are expected to be completed by the summer.

An EA spokesperson said: “The property flooding in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd was caused by more than 100mm of rain falling on already wet ground in the upper Calder catchment in just 12 hours.

“Since 2015, the Government has committed to invest £74m in the Calder Valley to protect the area from floods as we work hard to deliver the best possible scheme as quickly as possible to protect homes, businesses and jobs.

"As with all flood defences, this scheme takes the whole catchment into account, as we try to prevent further issues downstream.

"Construction work in Mytholmroyd is progressing at pace and is expected to be completed by the summer.

The EA said there have been unconfirmed reports of damage to some of the temporary defences in Mytholmroyd.

"We're working with Calderdale Council and our suppliers to investigate these."