21 September 2000
Farmer faces 6000 flood bill

by FWi staff

A FARMER faces a 6000 clean-up bill after mud and silt washed off his fields during a flood and closed off a village.

The main road through Chillerton, Isle of Wight, was blocked by run-off from Ramsdown Farm, during storms last week.

Because a similar situation arose in 1998, the Isle of Wight Council has now charged the clearance bill to farmer Albert Henton, said a council spokesman.

“Once could be an act of God, but if it happens again after asking a landowner to look at prevention measures, we would seek to recharge the costs,”.

But Mr Henton said he was refusing to pay because the mudslides happened in bad weather. Silt could not be kept from the road in extreme conditions.

“They can try to charge me, but it would have been fair for them to let me know there was a problem before they instructed clearance contractors..

Mr Henton said since the 1998 mudslide, he had grassed the field, which is set-aside land, and dug ditches to stop the run-off problem.

“I am as sorry as residents this has happened, it is my topsoil that has washed away, and it has cost me more than anyone in the village.

He added: “If I could have prevented it happening, I would have.”