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Father and son forced to walk through SEWAGE to get to nursery as village is plagued by flooding – with outraged locals claiming water woes ‘could be linked to HS2 tunnelling works’


A father and child have to walk through sewage on their way to school after their small countryside village was struck again by flooding problems.

Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire has suffered for years with flooding and sewage problems, according to Mark Dixon, 42, who owns Flowers Unique.

Mr Dixon said his own three-year-old son had been caught up in the flooding problem and that his business sits just above the flooding area.

His day-to-day life has been severely affected by the flooding.

Mark Dixon pictured with his three-year-old son. He claims they had to walk through sewage to get to school

Mark Dixon pictured with his three-year-old son. He claims they had to walk through sewage to get to school

Mark Dixon pictured outside his store, Unique Flowers. He said his life has been affected by the constant flooding

Mark Dixon pictured outside his store, Unique Flowers. He said his life has been affected by the constant flooding

Flooding in the streets of Chalfont St Peter

Residents have blamed the flooding on HS2, but this has been denied

Pictured, flooding in the streets of Chalfront St Peter

Residents complain that after the floodwater drains then the streets are coated in scum and residue

Residents complain that after the floodwater drains then the streets are coated in scum and residue

‘The other week I had to walk through sewage with my young boy to get into school,’ Mr Dixon said, ‘the only way to do it was to jump over a wall to get across the car park to get him to school.

‘I’ve been a Chalfont St Peter resident for 39 years now. That has been happening for as long as I can remember.

‘It’s an absolute farce – it has been going on for years.

‘Also, each time the flooding was so severe it used to come up and then go down again.

‘This would leave scum and polluted waste all over the pavement each time and was not cleaned away, just left for everyone to walk through.’

The business owner claims the flooding is caused by a combination of the increased water level and HS2 disturbance.

However, HS2 has consistently denied that their work along the Misbourne Valley has caused any flooding.

Mr Dixon added: ‘Misbourne Valley has actually dropped, meaning that the water is now on the surface.

‘It is only going to get worse.’

Jessica Glover, the assistant manager of Vinny & Ted in Chalfont St Peter

Jessica Glover, the assistant manager of Vinny & Ted in Chalfont St Peter

Signs in place because of the flooding and a Thames Water van is spotted in the background

Signs in place because of the flooding and a Thames Water van is spotted in the background

Sandbags in place to protect businesses from flooding

Sandbags in place to protect businesses from flooding

Engin Baskan, 34, is the owner of restaurant and hotel Yaprak Chalfont St Peter which has been severely flooded as it sits right next to the tankers that are draining the area.

Mr Baskan described how the restaurant was under four inches of water, with an estimated £20,000 worth of customer revenue being lost during the flooding over two days.

Although sewage did not enter the premises, Mr Baskan said that he could smell it outside the building.

He said: ‘The flooding has affected us the most and The Greyhound Public House.

‘The water didn’t come through to the kitchen but it came inside the building actually – at about four inches it came into the restaurant.

Mark Midgley, 59, is the owner of The Deli in Chalfont St Giles

Mark Midgley, 59, is the owner of The Deli in Chalfont St Giles

The Feathers public house has had to resort to a yellow pipe draining water from their cellar to out of their front door

The Feathers public house has had to resort to a yellow pipe draining water from their cellar to out of their front door

‘It is the reputation. You lose trust with the customers because they say ‘if it is raining, there is no way we can go there’.

Mr Baskan lost a total of 220 bookings over the two days his business was forced to close.

He added: ‘All the stock had to be thrown away.’

Angie Aldis is the manager at South Bucks Hospice in Chalfont St Peter.

Heavy rainfall last Friday meant that the village of Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire has been severely impacted by flooding

Heavy rainfall last Friday meant that the village of Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire has been severely impacted by flooding

Business owners based in the civil parish's Market Place said that they had lost customers due to car parks being closed

Business owners based in the civil parish’s Market Place said that they had lost customers due to car parks being closed

Thames Water continued to flush away the floodwater, which is several inches high, although no time frame has been given as to when the ongoing work will be completed

Thames Water continued to flush away the floodwater, which is several inches high, although no time frame has been given as to when the ongoing work will be completed

She said: ‘It would be nice if they came and told us what was happening.

‘Are they going to solve the problem or not? A lot of people have come in and said that it has been the same thing for years.

Vidia Johansen, a shop assistant at the Helen & Douglas House, said: ‘Business has been very quiet and Saturday morning in the store is usually heaving with customers.

‘The most significant issue is that people can’t park and we have had almost zero donations today, which is what we depend on.

‘If there are no donations we cannot sell and we cannot survive.’

Down the road, Chalfont St Giles has also suffered from the flooding.

Although not a sewage problem, the floods have affected businesses in this area too.

The Feathers public house has had to resort to a yellow pipe draining water from their cellar to out of their front door.

A worker at the pub, who asked not to be named, said: ‘This has been going on for two or three weeks.

‘It hasn’t affected business because of the pump constantly pumping water day and night.’

Mark Midgley, 59, owner of The Deli in Chalfont St Giles, said that although his business had not been directly affected by the flooding, it was a visible inhibitor to those living in the area.

He said: ‘Over the last week or so, half of our green has been a pond.

‘You could not get from here to the Co-Op, without either Wellington’s or getting your feet soaking wet.’

Roads continue to remain close as the village deals with excess water

Roads continue to remain close as the village deals with excess water 

One local said 'some of the water is contaminated as it¿s sewage'

One local said ‘some of the water is contaminated as it’s sewage’

Alan James, 54, owner of Willow Carpets and Flooring in Chalfont St Peter said: ‘A few Saturday’s ago, I could actually get 15 people in here – which is a lot for a little carpet shop.

‘But walk-in trade is at zero now. Since they’ve shut the road off, we’ve had nothing.

‘That car park on a Saturday is absolutely rammed. It’s all it’s all out on the road with cars beeping to get in.

‘But now it’s like a ghost town.’

Jessica Glover, the assistant manager of Vinny & Ted in Chalfont St Peter, said: ‘The main issue is having a car park. They have no where to park anymore

‘Our evenings have been quieter than they have been.

The 23-year-old added: ‘Normally, it is lively here on Friday and Saturday nights.

‘But by eight o’clock everyone’s going home because they don’t want to get caught out trying to get out.’

One tanker worker, who asked not be named, said that the flooding was down to the rainwater and not HS2 developments. Another worker refused to comment on the situation.

Thames Water has apologised to villagers after spending more than a week pumping away excess floodwater.

Thames Water continued to flush away the floodwater, which is several inches high, although no time frame has been given as to when the ongoing work will be completed.

One resident took to X, formerly known as Twitter and wrote: ‘Raw sewage flowing straight into the River Misbourne in Chalfont St Peter Village – businesses flooded and streets closed – bloke from Thames water says it’s HS2 related.’

But an HS2 spokesperson said: ‘There’s no reason this should be linked to HS2 works.’

Have you been affected? Email: gina.kalsi@mailonline.co.uk

Another said: ‘Category 1 pollution in Misbourne. The Environment Agency eventually conceded that the two Chiltern Tunnels could significantly impact the adjacent groundwater migration pathways.

‘Their investigation should look at the possibility that HS2 tunnels could be contributing to this problem.’

A third local tweeted yesterday: ‘Thames Water person spoken to today said this incident was entirely down to #hs2 tunnelling. Have you visited the Amersham household waste depot? Under water.

‘@HS2ltd say it’s nothing to do with them haha. Farms between pollution incident and waste site underwater for 1st time.’

But parish councillor Anne-Marie Vladar replied: ‘But It is not. (Tanker driver?) This has been a mains sewer issue for decades for #CSP Failing sewer, housing overdevelopment, no infrastructure investment/maintenance & GX treatment & Maple Lodge works long before HS2 put a spade in the ground.’

Another local commented about severe flooding last week in Chalfont St Giles, saying: ‘There is severe flooding outside the HS2 site near junction of Chesham Lane & Gorlands Ln in Chalfont St Giles.’

In 2022, two 2,000 tonne tunnelling machines completed the first stage of the development and dug up the project’s tunnels.

Chalfont St Peter has a 78m deep shaft, the first of five that HS2 claims will provide ventilation and emergency access to the ten-mile-long twin tunnels.

Two years ago, the HS2 expected that the tunnels would break out at the north portal later this year.

Last week, the community got together to stage a protest in an empty car park in the village and held poo emoji inflatables to represent the amount of sewage water that has been flushed around the area.

Car parks are shut as Thames Water continues to pump out excess water

Car parks are shut as Thames Water continues to pump out excess water

Business owners based in the civil parish's Market Place said that they had lost customers due to car parks being closed

Business owners based in the civil parish’s Market Place said that they had lost customers due to car parks being closed

Parish Councillor Anne-Marie Vladar told the Bucks Free Press: ‘This has been disastrous for the whole community, for the village residents and Thames Water along with Bucks Council all know the issue, and it needs to be resolved.

‘Residents along the lower road are impacted as some streets are having issues with flushing toilets and some of the water is contaminated as it’s sewage.’

A Thames Water spokesperson said: ‘We are sorry to customers impacted by ongoing high water levels and flooding in Amersham/Chalfont St Peter.

‘The excessively heavy rain that the region has experienced since early January means the groundwater and river levels remain very high in this area and the ground is saturated.

‘All these issues combined means there is nowhere for further rain or other flow from nearby land to go.

‘We continue to work around the clock to manage these excess flows that are entering into our network to prevent flooding at Chalfont St Peter and Denham Way.

‘We’re doing this by maximising capacity in the sewer network through tankering and the recent installation of a large overpump system. Traffic management will remain in place while we carry out this work for the safety of our engineers and the public.

‘We recognise the inconvenience that this disruption is having on the community but our priority is to mitigate any further flooding to customers’ properties while the high groundwater and river levels remain high and continue to impact our sewers.

‘We will continue to monitor the situation and work with the Environment Agency and Local Authorities, who manage river flooding and local drainage respectively.’

Thames Water has been contacted for further comment.



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