A COUNCILLOR and residents say they fear the major work to dual the Southern Link Road has contributed to some of the worst flooding ever seen in Powick – but the county council has denied the suggestion.

Powick, near Worcester, has suffered badly from the effects of Storm Dennis with flooding forcing residents out of their homes and closing businesses, and making major roads inaccessible.

Residents say they are concerned the work to dual the nearby Southern Link Road between the Ketch and Powick roundabouts has done nothing but contribute to some of the worst flooding the village has ever experienced.

While Councillor Tom Wells, who represents Powick on the county council, said building a huge construction compound on a floodplain might have made the situation far worse than it would have otherwise been.

Juliet Wallace-Mason, director of the historic Powick Mill, said the flooding in Powick had been “frightening” and she had never seen anything like it since moving in 2012.

She said an “awful lot” of trees were cut down last year during the dualling work, which she believed had a knock-on effect. She said the ground was not being dredged, causing massive build ups of water that lead to huge floods.

“I know I’ve only been here eight years, but I really have not seen anything like it before and a lot of my neighbours are saying the same."

Mrs Wallace-Mason said she had no doubt the amount of concrete and tarmac at the roundabouts – particularly the “massive mess” of the Ketch - as well as tree chopping from Carrington Bridge to Powick, had made the flooding worse.

She said: “We used to have a lovely babbling brook and now it is either stagnant and stinky or high and reaching right up to the arches of the bridge.

“Before, the water would appear and then it would be gone. Now it stays around for weeks."

A number of trees between Carrington Bridge and Powick roundabout were cleared last year to make way for the new dual carriageway.

Worcestershire County Council said research had shown the dualling of the Southern Link Road would have little, if any impact, on flooding.

Councillor Ken Pollock, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure at the county council, said: “The planning application for the Southern Link Road phase four scheme included extensive research into how the scheme could affect flooding in the area.

“This was done in full consultation with the Environment Agency who fully endorsed all of the plans. The research showed that the scheme had little, if any impact, on flood water levels.”

Responding to Cllr Pollock, Powick county councillor Wells said even a “little” impact on flood levels was the difference between homes flooding or not.

“It was only a matter of centimetres before it breached the flood defences [in Powick] so a little impact makes a huge difference,” he said.

Cllr Wells said the flood defences installed after huge floods in 2007 were to make sure, it was claimed, the devastation “never happened again.”

“There is a huge compound there, and a brand new access road, huge mounds of dirt from earthworks and foundations and what I am really concerned about is that this is going to happen again,” he said.

“If that is the case I think the Environment Agency and the highways department have some serious questions to answer.”

Cllr Wells said if it was the case that the Southern Link Road work had contributed to flooding, there could be claims for compensation from residents in Powick.