The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Mr X complains about development which caused flooding to his property. We will not investigate this complaint because the matter has been remedied. The original planning permission is out of time for investigation.
- Mr X complains about development which caused flooding to his property.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We cannot investigate late complaints unless we decide there are good reasons. Late complaints are when someone takes more than 12 months to complain to us about something a council has done. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26B and 34D, as amended)
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we are satisfied with the actions a council has taken or proposes to take. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(7), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered the comments of the complainant and the Council and the complainant was given an opportunity to comment on the draft decision.
What I found
- The Council granted planning permission for a development of houses close to Mr X’s property in 2002. Mr X says that the height of the development caused flood water to enter the front of his property.
- The planning permission in 2002 is out of time as I see no reason why a complaint could not have been made to this office within 12 months of the grant of planning permission.
- The Council recently fitted a soakaway on the path outside his property. They say that this will be monitored at times of heavy rain but they believe that this should avoid any further flooding to his property.
- I am satisfied that, if we were to find fault in the Council’s actions, the provision of the soakaway would be a reasonable remedy of that complaint. Mr X may make a further complaint to this Council (and then to this office) if he believes the soakaway has not remedied the matter.
- I do not intend to investigate this complaint because the matter has been remedied and the original planning permission is out of time.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman