Date set to fix leaking underground car park

Flooding in Buckingham.Riverside development.'121122M-A808
Flooding in Buckingham.Riverside development.'121122M-A808

Work to fix a leaky basement car park at a housing development in Buckingham will begin next month after ‘unprecedented’ levels of rainfall last year were blamed for breaching waterproofing on the floor.

News of work to fix the faulty basement floor at Candleford Court in Bridge Street has now been confirmed by the housing association owner Guinness South.

Rod Pearson, a spokesman for Guinness South, said: “Problems arose with the underground car park in the newly built scheme when we saw unprecedented levels of rainfall in 2012.

“Built as an intended flood defence, the basement car park, with high exterior walls strong enough to withstand pressure from rising water levels, is expected to withstand one-in-25-year river flood events.”

But he said the car park floor was effectively independent of the main structure, and could not withstand the water pressure from underneath.

The pressure eventually caused the floor to rise and the waterproofing to fail, said Mr Pearson.

Remedial work, which is being supervised by site contractor Lagan Homes, will include boring 168 concrete and reinforced steel piles through the floor.

The existing floor will then be removed and replaced with a new basement floor that is anchored to the bedrock beneath by the piles.

Guinness South said it had barred access to the basement car park as soon as it realised there was a problem.

The move, to protect the health and safety of residents, also stopped any more of the homes being occupied, said Guinness South.

“We are genuinely sorry for any inconvenience that these unforeseen problems have caused,” said Mr Pearson.

He thanked everyone, particularly the residents already in situ, for their patience.

He added: “Our aim is always to build great homes where people want to live and we are still committed and keen to fulfil this at Candleford Court.”

In total, 27 out of the development’s 103 homes are now occupied.

Guinness South says it will resume letting and shared-ownership sales in the spring.

According to Met Office figures, 2012 was the UK’s second-wettest year on record, with an average rainfall of 1,337.13mm. The wettest recorded year was 2000, which had 6.6mm more rainfall on average.

The soggy year of 1954 came in third, with 1,309.1mm of rain.

A resident liaison officer is being employed by Guinness South to act as a go-between for residents and contractors during the remedial works.