AN EX-PARISH council chairman has raised doubts over a £33,000 anti-flooding scheme on a village footpath.
Malpas parish councillor Anna Patten fears proposed measures in Leech Lane could actually make matters worse for residents whose gardens are flooded by run-off from the rough track.
Current plans are to surface the lane, install a soak-away drain to allow the slow release of storm waters into the ground and lighting to bring the footpath up to the required standard for the county council to take-over its maintenance.
But Cllr Patten expressed 'strenuous objections' in a letter circulated at the monthly parish meeting.
She wrote: 'If the whole length of Leech lane is to be tarmacked, a length I guess to be about 150 metres to a width of two metres, the soak-away will be required to absorb the run-off from 300 square metres of solid surface.
'I do not know if there will even be sufficient room, along the whole length of the lane for a soak-way.'
Cllr Patten said the lane was also at a lower level than the nearby fire station car park and water collected in the middle providing a run-off point making it 'inevitable' water would escape onto the gardens below.
'It is my belief that an attempt to resolve the issue of Leech Lane by bringing it up to highway standard is the wrong approach,' she said.
Cllr Patten said the city council, which only recently accepted ownership and responsibility for the lane, must 'seek other solutions' and warned that if the parish council supported the existing scheme it would be held accountable for the 'deterioration in the local environment'.
Meanwhile, Cllr Eric Beak, who is working to resolve the drainage problem on behalf of the parish, updated members on progress at the monthly meeting.
Focusing on what he sees as the biggest obstacle, Cllr Beak commented: 'The city council have not got any money. If this is going to work at all it will work through grant funding.'