A row over flooding looks set to rumble on after Oswestry Town Council agreed to ask Shropshire Council to use enforcement powers to resolve the issue.

Fed up residents in Jasmine Gardens, at the North East end of Oswestry, say they are living with the constant fear of their properties being flooded due to a culvert which runs under the Cambrian Heritage Railway – but neither Shropshire Council nor the railway is taking responsibility for the issue.

Emergency clearance work has now taken place on the culvert in an effort to resolve the flooding but Cambrian Railway Trust(CRT) says the problem is caused by outdated infrastructure, which has failed to keep up with housing developments in the area, and is the responsibility of the environment agency and the planning authority to resolve.

Shropshire Council says responsibility for the issue lies with the railway, as they say the terms of their lease means they have responsibility for looking after the culvert. Shropshire Council has powers to complete drainage works and recover the costs if no agreement can be found.

“It is our belief that changing land use combined with climate change and a failure to upgrade the infrastructure is the prime cause of the occasional flooding being seen,” said a statement from Cambrian Heritage Railway.


“Responsibility for upgrading drainage infrastructure sits with the Environment Agency and planners when approving land development. ”

The council’s highways cabinet member Dan Morris visited the site this month, and said the council will be “reminding CRT of their responsibilities to maintain the culvert”, and did not rule out enforcement action.

“The legalities in the eyes of Shropshire Council are clear. Although Shropshire Council own the rail line, the wording of the lease means that Cambrian Railway Trust are responsible for the maintenance of the culverted watercourse and any other services where they pass under the rail line,” he said.

“The council have permissive powers to undertake enforcement action against landowners/leaseholder who fail to maintain their watercourse.

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“Serving notice on CRT is still an option and Shropshire Council flood managers will be reminding CRT of this and their riparian responsibilities to maintian the culvert when they meet later this month.”

At a meeting of Oswestry Town Council, where residents had asked for help to mediate between the two organisations, councillors agreed to ask Shropshire Council to use their statutory enforcement powers to ensure the issue was resolved.

“It’s clear the culvert is not big enough and needs to be upgraded,” said Councillor Duncan Kerr.

“It’s irrelevant who owns the land. Shropshire Council has the powers to resolve the situation – I propose we write to them on behalf of the residents to ask them to use them to bring this situation to a resolution.”