‘Mystery out-of-control torrent burn is eating away our garden’

‘Mystery out-of-control torrent burn is eating away our garden’


Maureen and Colin McBeth, of the town’s Cowal View, have seen their garage flooded twice in the last three years after Mile Burn, which runs through their back garden, began overflowing.

They fear that the garage foundations could be damaged and say their garden has been eroded by the watercourse, which they fear is getting out of control.

They are also facing shelling out a hefty sum for the removal of a wall which the council has suggested they should take down.

But the couple insist that an additional source of water is entering the burn and causing the flooding and say this should be investigated.

Greenock Telegraph:

Maureen, 62, said: “We came back to Gourock to live three years ago and we were only back two days when the garage flooded.

“We had our packing boxes inside it at the time and they were soaking.

Greenock Telegraph:

“Mile Burn runs through our property and is eroding our garden and damaging the wall that supports our driveway and the foundations of our garage, as well as that of our neighbours.”

Mrs McBeth said when they bought the house in 1991 the burn was just a trickle, but it has been running more and more each year.

She said: “From the Ordnance Survey map it runs from Earnhill down through the nearby golf course and splits into the burn running along Kirn Drive.

“This should be a natural burn, but there is water coming from another source.

Greenock Telegraph:

“During the excessive dry spell this summer it was running like a torrent.

“It is continuous day and night, all-year round.”

Greenock Telegraph:

The couple have taken their questions to the authorities and say they have been dealing with Scottish Water, Inverclyde Council and town councillor Lynne Quinn for the last three years over their concerns about their property.

Maureen said: “Councillor Quinn is repeatedly told that the staff dealing with the matter have left.

“We believed that the council and the water board are responsible for it.

“The water source is constant.

“We are wondering if it could be a burst pipe at Earnhill pumping station or industrial units at Larkfield Estate.”

Greenock Telegraph:

The McBeths have been advised by council officers that their retaining garden wall for their driveway will now have to come down, at their own expense, because it is ‘impeding’ the flow of the burn.

The couple told the Tele the water hits the three-foot wall and goes underneath the driveway and into their garage.

Maureen says the burn has also eroded brickwork at the side of the waterway.

She said: “We have already lost three foot width from our garden.

“We lost trees, with tree roots being uplifted.

“Our fear now is it could go into the summerhouse in the garden.

“The council have told us that our side wall at the back of the house will have to come down, as it could impede the flow of the burn.

Maureen is unhappy at having to fork out and says she wants an answer on why the flow of the burn appears to be growing.

She said: “Other properties have been affected as well.

“The matter has been an issue for years and our neighbours have had no satisfaction in resolving the issue either.

“I do not see why we and other residents affected should have to foot a bill for a waterway which is clearly not from a natural source.

“Historically this wasn’t the case.

“I have lived in the area since 1969 and we have owned the house since 1991 and the burn was dry during summer and flow varied with rainfall.”

READ MORE: Clune Park School fire: Sadness as listed building destroyed

The Tele contacted both Scottish Water and Inverclyde Council over the problems with the burn.

A spokesperson for Scottish Water said: “This issue has been investigated and is not a matter for Scottish Water.”

An Inverclyde Council spokesperson said: “After a request from the property owner, council officers visited the location and have identified an internal garden wall feature within the property which may cause an obstruction during extreme weather conditions and could, in turn, affect the property.

“The property owner has been advised that they should consider either moving, alternating or relocating the wall to protect their property or ground.

“We would advise the property owner to engage a contractor to undertake suitable works as required to alleviate the issues within their property boundary.”


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