'I can't afford it' - residents at flood-hit Shrewsbury flats quoted £250,000 for insurance

Residents at flood-hit flats have had to invest in waders to access their homes, and were quoted £250,000 to insure the block against floods.

Rob Stevens, Tom Fountain and Pete Hilditch watch as water pumps spray away from Coton Manor
Rob Stevens, Tom Fountain and Pete Hilditch watch as water pumps spray away from Coton Manor

Coton Manor, off Berwick Road in Shrewsbury, is frequently ravaged by floods, and effectively becomes an island on some occasions as the deluge of water from the River Severn surrounds the ground floor.

One resident, Sue McCulloch, said that when she and partner Tommy Fountain bought their flat in 2019, the overall insurance quote for the 68-apartment block was around £19,000. But after serious bouts of flooding every year, the cost has rocketed.

One company quoted £250,000. It is understood the building’s management company settled on one in the region of £90,000, but Sue said it is tough on residents.

“I’ll be honest, I can’t afford it,” she said. “When we moved here it hadn’t flooded for about 20 years, but it’s been every year since.

“There are still people out of their flats on the ground floor because they had to do renovations after the previous floods.”

In this latest bout of flooding, the garden area has been covered with water. A Shropshire Council grant of £75,000 paid for pumps and flood defences at the block, and so far they have kept water at bay from the building.

Sue said: “All of the pumps have been going at one point or another. They really spray the water out with a lot of force. It’s like a fountain. I don’t think it’s going to get into the building this time, but you never know.”

She added: “We’ve got a Whatsapp group for the flats that we all communicate in. Everyone seems fairly upbeat at the moment. We’ve got flood barriers to put up if it looks like its going to enter the building. We all try and let each other know what’s going on.” The best way to know what’s going to happen is checking what’s going on at Vyrnwy, then we can get an idea what we need to do.”

She added: “It’s flooded every year since we moved. People are going to start blaming us! The first flood in February 2020 wasn’t too bad here but the one in March was really bad. We needed waders to get in and out.”

Last summer, the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) established the £100m Frequently Flooded Allowance to help homeowners protect their properties. But it is understood Coton Manor is ineligible to access the fund due to the building being too large.

Defra has been contacted for a comment.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News