Horncastle business owner - ‘I’ll continue fight for flood compensation’

This photo, taken last September, shows a passing van send  water cascading into the front of the salon which is protected by sandbags.
This photo, taken last September, shows a passing van send water cascading into the front of the salon which is protected by sandbags.

A Horncastle business owner is refusing to back down in a bid to secure compensation from Lincolnshire County Council over flood damage to her hairdressing salon.

Corrine Tomlin, who owns Chat’z in the town’s Bull Ring, says she suffered ‘months and months of misery’ because water cascaded into her premises after heavy rain.

Mrs Tomlin says the problem was caused by a blocked drain.

She adds the county council refused to clear the drain, despite repeated requests.

Mrs Tomlin says that after her plight was featured in the News, the council did take action and the flooding stopped.

However, she claims that the water caused damage to the front of her premises - and affected trade.

She wrote to the county council, asking for compensation for the damage.

The council has replied, denying any liability.

In a letter from Principal Legal Officer Nigel Hinson, the council states: “While any damage to your property and other losses are regretted, the council has no offer to make in respect of such losses.”

However, Mrs Tomlin says she is determined to continue her claim.

She told the News: “The council probably think - it’s only one woman...she’ll go away. Well, I won’t.

“The water has caused a lot of damage, and it is totally wrong I have to pay for it.”

Mrs Tomlin says the blocked drain meant water collected in the road outside the salon.

She added that vehicles passing the premises ‘pushed’ water through the front door .

Mrs Tomlin explained: “Every time it rained heavily, we’d dash back into town and put sandbags out to try and stop the water. It went on for months and months.”

Mrs Tomlin says customers ‘got used’ to waiting inside the salon for the traffic lights at the junction of the Bull Ring with the A158 to turn red before leaving.

That meant vehicles outside were at a standstill and not creating waves of water.

In the letter from the council, Mr Hinson explains the water should have drained into the River Waring.

According to the council, he high water level in the river meant an outlet valve did not open, causing the surface water to back up.

The letter adds that a solution has ‘hopefully been achieved’ by the construction and implementation of the town’s Flood Alleviation Scheme.

But Mrs Tomlin says flooding is still happening after heavy rain and adds that, whatever the reason, she is not responsible for drainage.

She says she would love to repair the whole front but explained the salon is in a conservation area, restricting what work could be carried out.

She added: “If I replaced some of the rotten woodwork with UPVC, the conservation officer would be the first person knocking on my door.”

She is calling for the drain to be ‘pumped out’ at least twice a year.