RISING flood water breached the flood banks protecting agricultural land on the east side of the River Severn at Upton this week.

The banks, or bunds as they are officially known, are blamed by many Upton people for making flooding worse in the town by preventing water from spreading across the natural flood plain.

The matter was raised with Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott by Betty Williams last Friday, when he agreed to look into the problem.

Melanie Davis, of Severn Leisure, said part of Fish Meadow was still dry when her Waterside offices were under water on Tuesday.

"It's becoming more and more obvious that since they raised these barriers on Fish Meadow the town gets flooded far quicker," she said.

"We are protecting fields at the expense of the town."

Mark Fisher, whose East Waterside home has flooded for the first time since 1990, said: "Since then they have created the flood bunds and they have held back the water on our side in subsequent floods. But once the defences are breached they stop the water from flowing back to the river and it's trapped on our side. I wouldn't be surprised if ours is one of the last properties to emerge from the water."