To think that you shouldnt construct a "deep water" pond in the middle of a new housing estate

(30 Posts)
Whatnowffs Sat 17-Nov-12 11:37:09

I nipped through a newly built housing development the other week (another thread on here reminded me about deep water and children, but not a thread about a thread! and there was a pond, with a warning sign - warning, deep water. It was never there before, they made it - this is a housing development aimed i would say, principally towards young families. Lots of cul-de-sacs where it would be arguably "safe" for older children to play out. But NOT safe for them to be hanging around a deep water pond.

AIBU to think WTAF??? I have seen this on another newbuild estate too (an even bigger pond actually - with fishing!!!!! but at least this one is fenced off, but not locked!

Have the planners gone MAD???

squeakytoy Sat 17-Nov-12 11:41:20

YABU.

Children too young to read danger signs and not understand the dangers of water should not be allowed to play out unsupervised.

bamboobutton Sat 17-Nov-12 11:41:28

I am convinced these planners are all mummies boys who still live at home and have mummy iron their pants as almost every new build we have looked has no storage to put anything like ironing boards or hoovers away.

Also seen some houses with huuuuuuge deep ditches right outside the front door and winding round the house to border the back garden!

BertieBotts Sat 17-Nov-12 11:41:32

But why would you be letting your young children hang around a pond unattended anyway?

I think YABU. If children are old enough to be out playing then they're old enough to understand they don't go near the pond, or how to be safe around the pond. My mum's housing estate has one of these and it's fenced so you couldn't stumble across it by mistake. It's lovely smile

PurpleGentian Sat 17-Nov-12 11:42:58

It does seem a very odd thing for the planners to do.

Is it a new pond, or one that existed before the estate was built? If it was existing, there may have been reasons why they couldn't fill it in (i.e. rare wildlife).

But I fully agree that it should be securely fenced so that children can't get near it.

Hulababy Sat 17-Nov-12 11:45:39

There is an existing pond at the estate I live on. It was decided to keep it. However, due to some H&S issues there is a high, unclimb-able metal railing all the way round it.

amck5700 Sat 17-Nov-12 11:47:25

Its a drainage thing - they have to build them - I think it's called an attenuation pond or something. Kids can drown in a few inches of water so the depth is really irrelevant.

Do you live there or are you planning to move there?

PurpleGentian Sat 17-Nov-12 11:48:23

And older children and teenagers can also drown in ponds / deep water.

I've heard of cases where an older child or teenager has drowned in an inviting looking pool or waterway, particularly in the summer.

Whatnowffs Sat 17-Nov-12 11:48:36

squeaky, i agree with you, i really do but it would be niave to think that the children who CAN read the sign and understand its meaning, wont, in the way children do, think they are invinsible and put themselves in real danger. You'd have to see it to appreciate it, its not like a pond in the park sort of a dip in a grassed area, so on a muddy day i could imagine VERY easy to slip into.

Whatnowffs Sat 17-Nov-12 11:52:14

amck - i wondered if it was something like that. No, i don't live there or plan to live there - so no concern for my DD (also i don't let her play out and wont until she is at least 35!!!) More of an observation really.

To me, the obvious answer is a fence! locked! clearly the planners think its "nice" to have open water in their poorly planned estates. There must be other ways to sort the drainage.

squeakytoy Sat 17-Nov-12 11:52:18

I grew up where a canal ran along the back of our houses, and there were two massive reservoirs. From an early age we were all taught the dangers of water and to respect it.

There were still tragedies, usually teenage boys swimming in the reservoirs in the hot weather. Well aware of the dangers, but choosing to be reckless.

You cant bubblewrap your kids for life. As a parent all you can do is teach them the risks and make them aware, and hope that your child is sensible enough to listen to you.

Whatnowffs Sat 17-Nov-12 11:55:50

I agree again squeaky smile But also there is some sort of civil responsibility for planners to not introduce a hazard where there doesn't need to be one? OR make it safe, I am sure we are all good parents who will keep our children as safe as we possibly can, we cant wrap them in cotton wool, BUT sadly, not all parents are as responsible and also, when the kids are older (teens) you can't keep them under lock and key - i think these things are a tragedy waiting to happen sad

I don't think yabu, some people let their dc out from a very young age.

I lived on a housing estate a few years ago where it was common to see 2&3 year olds playing out on their own or with siblings only a few years older than them.

A pond there would have been an accident waiting to happen

amck5700 Sat 17-Nov-12 19:12:06

Basically the ponds are required to store drained water, it's some kind of environmental thing - I guess as more and more houses are built on areas that they would have deemed too wet in the past.

I agree it could be fenced in, but unless a site already has natural drainage then most new estates will have one of these somewhere - I have seen some where they plant reeds in them so it becomes more of a marsh than a pond.

Filibear Sat 17-Nov-12 19:16:13

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Whatnowffs Sat 17-Nov-12 19:16:46

Yes, this is what they have there amck - i think its very dangerous

freddiefrog Sat 17-Nov-12 19:19:36

I do see what you mean. There's a huge housing estate near my mum's full of family sized houses, with a big fuck off deep pond in the middle of it. It could at least be fenced off.

But on the other hand, we live across a field from a cliff edge. The kids know they aren't allowed anywhere near it on pain of death. I can't fill in the sea, so the kids have learnt if they want to play out, they don't cross the field

Narked Sat 17-Nov-12 19:20:47

I thought exactly the same as you when I saw a new build estate online whilst looking at houses. A big, deep looking pond, obviously new as they mentioned it in the blurb, about 25 feet from the front doors of some of the houses. If it's a new legal requirement I understand, but there's NO reason they shouldn't have some kind of fencing or grill.

amck5700 Sat 17-Nov-12 19:23:28

The thing is, everywhere you live will have some kind of danger and you have to educate your kids on what the specific dangers are near your home - e.g. Busy Road, High Wall/Big drop, slippery slopes, rivers etc etc. and additionally supervise your children until they know the rules and obey them - it's not really an age thing.

In my estate, we live in a cul-de-sac, but there are a couple of paths that lead to busier roads - after a time my boys were allowed to play in the street but were not allowed to go onto these paths - when they could be trusted not to then they were allowed to be unsupervised (but watched from inside for a while longer without them knowing) By the time they were old enough to test the boundary of the rule, they were old enough to use the paths grin

Llareggub Sat 17-Nov-12 19:24:14

I used to live by the sea. That's a lot of coastline to fence off.

The pond won't be for show. The one where I live is part of the flood prevention work.

BikeRunSki Sat 17-Nov-12 19:32:15

I am a civil engineer. I work in Flood Risk Management (which includes drainage) and I work closely with housing developers, the Environment Agency and planners. It's an attenuation pond. It stores run off from the new estate and lets it drain away slowly. It may even be a temporary feature while the development is under construction and permanent drainage put in.

thixotropic Sat 17-Nov-12 19:34:27

I live right by an automatic half barrier level crossing. There are loads of small kids on this estate.

Scares me

My point being, as mentioned up thread, alnost nowhere is truly safe, you just got to pick your hazard.

Whatnowffs Sat 17-Nov-12 19:39:31

But why can't they put a temporary fence around it then Bikerun? Am envy of your civil engineer status smile

SoupDragon Sat 17-Nov-12 19:55:47

Nanny state.

NamingOfParts Sat 17-Nov-12 19:56:02

I'm with Squeaky and amck on this. Where we lived in the Netherlands we had a large lake straight in front of our house. This lake was unfenced and looped round the primary school. In the summer DH took the kids boating on the lake. In winter they skated on it. This wasnt out in the country but in the middle of a modern housing estate.

You need to teach your children to be safe around water that is all.

There was one on our old newbuild estate (1996-2004 built). No fence, but a little fenced pontoon out on to it for duck feeding. Lovely. It literally never occurred to me that this was unnecessarily risky, but then the borders of the estate are a big main road and an undredged river...

germyrabbit Sat 17-Nov-12 19:57:36

the only thing that would worry me about a 'deep' pond would be flooding potential, there must be a reason why it's there!

if's it's ornamental it would seem a bit silly

WaitingforStork Sun 18-Nov-12 04:44:31

It's part of a sustainable urban drainage system, SUDS scheme. New SEPA (and English equivalent) regulations require drainage run off to go through two levels of treatment before it is discharged back to groundwater to remove pollution. The ditches that one poster mentions are baked swales and are for the same purpose. A common system is to have swales which catch the road run off and take it to the pond where it will eventually drain back into the ground. There are two types of pond, attenuation and detention based on whether it is designed to be wet all the time, this will depend on amount of run off and existing ground water level. There is one near me that is little more than a reed bed most of the time.

One reason for them is that water authorities don't like to accept additional discharge to their drainage network as they are often already full to capacity and it can cause flooding issues. When new developments take place on existing green land the absorption property of the land is severely decreased and provision has to be made for the water to go somewhere.

In some cases they are fenced off but others aren't, they can make a lovely feature and a good habitat for wildlife. I think all children should be supervised near yards and taught the dangers of water but think that a pond on an estate would be a nice feature, could take dc to feed the ducks, model boats etc.

Just as you wouldn't let children play on roads or leave them unsupervised by traffic you need to teach them to respect water. In the worst case scenario, the design of there ponds also has to include safety provision such as life rings and you will probably find that the sides are stepped banks, not just a sheer face, so that it is possible to climb out.

Sorry for essay, am a civil engineer, though currently on maternity leave and enjoyed discussing something other than how many nappies I've changed today! Your local council should be cake to give you access to detailed plans if asked.

Right, feed finished, can go back to bed now...

WaitingforStork Sun 18-Nov-12 04:45:00

It's part of a sustainable urban drainage system, SUDS scheme. New SEPA (and English equivalent) regulations require drainage run off to go through two levels of treatment before it is discharged back to groundwater to remove pollution. The ditches that one poster mentions are baked swales and are for the same purpose. A common system is to have swales which catch the road run off and take it to the pond where it will eventually drain back into the ground. There are two types of pond, attenuation and detention based on whether it is designed to be wet all the time, this will depend on amount of run off and existing ground water level. There is one near me that is little more than a reed bed most of the time.

One reason for them is that water authorities don't like to accept additional discharge to their drainage network as they are often already full to capacity and it can cause flooding issues. When new developments take place on existing green land the absorption property of the land is severely decreased and provision has to be made for the water to go somewhere.

In some cases they are fenced off but others aren't, they can make a lovely feature and a good habitat for wildlife. I think all children should be supervised near yards and taught the dangers of water but think that a pond on an estate would be a nice feature, could take dc to feed the ducks, model boats etc.

Just as you wouldn't let children play on roads or leave them unsupervised by traffic you need to teach them to respect water. In the worst case scenario, the design of there ponds also has to include safety provision such as life rings and you will probably find that the sides are stepped banks, not just a sheer face, so that it is possible to climb out.

Sorry for essay, am a civil engineer, though currently on maternity leave and enjoyed discussing something other than how many nappies I've changed today! Your local council should be able to give you access to detailed plans if asked.

Right, feed finished, can go back to bed now...

BikeRunSki Sun 18-Nov-12 16:27:27

What waiting said (hello fellow civ eng, also on mat leave). The problem with unfenced ponds, is that if someone climbs the fence and is injured, then the land owner of that fence is responsible for that injury. My employer is also a big land owner, people are always trying to sue us for falling off our flood walls when they ate drunk, so we now have to use pointed coping stones.

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