THE cause of the severe flooding that devastated parts of Redcar and Cleveland in September has been the focus of a report investigating methods of preventing further catastrophes.

Homes in Redcar and east Cleveland were severely damaged by the torrential downpour the swept across the region on Friday, September 6, while businesses and car parks in Saltburn were badly affected by the flooding.

As a result of the devastation Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is planning on teaming up with the Environment Agency (EA) and Northumbrian Water to look at solutions to problem.

Members of the authority’s cabinet have called for a surface water management plan to be drawn up in an attempt to prevent flooding occurring again.

Councillor Mark Hannon, cabinet member for economic development, said: “Flooding has a devastating effect on people’s lives and one that has a lasting impact. At the moment there is the council, Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water all working separately on dealing with flooding, I think that they should be brought together under one umbrella which can be led by the either of them.”

In the wake of September’s flooding, more than 100 people attended a public meeting in the Coatham Road Social Club, after the Redcar's MP, Ian Swales, called for action to resolve the continuing problem.

Many angry residents blamed over development and the loss of natural flood plains for raising the risk of flooding occurring on a more regular basis.

The council’s report identified several problems that came together to cause and exasperate the flooding, including blocked culverts, excessive surface water and extreme weather conditions.

Independent councilor Barry Hunt, whose home has been flooded on two separate occasions, welcomed the idea of working together to reduce the risk and improving communication between agencies.

He said: “I feel that the one thing we can get out of the flooding it the ability to learn from what has happened before. Communication is getting better between the council, the Environment Agency and people on the ground, such as flood wardens, there is only so much we can do to improve things but we are moving in the right way.”

The council will now hold a series of residents’ meeting to gather information about problems in affected areas as well as working closely with the EA and Northumbrian Water.