A council says a blocked drain which caused allotments in Guisborough to constantly flood has been cleared.

Redcar and Cleveland Council said a drain servicing the allotments, off Wilton Lane, was in fact on private land and the landowner had now removed the blockage.

Allotment holder Garry Rice told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the allotments had been under water since the latter end of August.

Mr Rice claimed the local authority “weren’t even interested” in the problem when it was reported to them and he was less than impressed with their efforts to date, which involved using a ‘gully sucker’ to clear the blockage.

He said: “It wasn’t big enough to reach the bottom to get all the silt and everything out.”

Mr Rice, of Borrowby Court, Guisborough, said he had previously invested in a water pump in a bid to tackle the problem, but this had cost him thousands of pounds and he could not afford to keep up its running costs.

He said: “To get into my allotment I have had to use wellies or waders.

“At one end it must be about three feet deep.”

The gardener, who has lived in the area for 37 years, said vegetables he had grown had been ruined and he had also lost six chickens which had drowned.

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He said: “The other ones are all locked up in a shed now to keep them out of the water.

“The bloke next door to me is into pigeon racing and he has moved them to another location.”

In a statement received after Mr Rice’s comments, Councillor Carl Quartermain, the cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The land drain that runs through the allotments, under the A171 and through the field into Howl Beck is on private land, and we have been informed that the landowner has since cleared the blockage. 

“The system should now be draining and the allotment flooding should subside over the coming days.

“Although the local authority is not responsible for the land, we did make attempts to clear the flooding with one of our gully suckers. 

“We were left saddened to hear the extent of the damage caused by the flooding, but hopefully things should now improve for Mr Rice and other allotment tenants.”