Council bosses in Chorley have hit out at residents seen on inflatables in flood water near a town park and historic building.

Across Chorley, Lancashire, and the wider North West there has been severe flooding this week due to extreme weather brought on by Storm Christoph.

In the historic market town, a busy road had to be closed due to extremely high flood water down Southport Road, overwhelming the Grade II listed Ackhurst Lodge outside Astley Park.

And despite a 'danger to life' warning issued by the Met Office, some thought it was a good idea to brave the water with inflatables that you would normally see at the beach or in a swimming pool.

Chorley Council has seen hit out at those doing such actions, saying it puts "unnecessary strain" on emergency services in what has been an already stretched period of time for them.

A spokesperson from Chorley Council said: "Please can we remind people not to enter the flood water in Astley Park.

"We have had instances of people floating on the water using inflatables.

"It is extremely dangerous and it will put unnecessary strain on the emergency services if an accident occurs."

Firefighters from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service were called to Southport Road this week to try and pump away the flood water, with the road closed to all traffic for a number of days.

Concern now exists over the long term future of Ackhurst Lodge, which for years has been blighted by flood water due to the surrounding sloped plains.

"We have sadly witnessed severe flooding on Southport Road, Chorley – where the highway dips just outside Ackhurst Lodge – for some years now and it is getting worse each time," said council leader Alistair Bradley.

"Many people including ourselves, county councillors, our MP Lindsay Hoyle, and many residents have demanded that Lancashire County Council take action to alleviate the problem and make sure flooding outside Ackhurst Lodge can become a thing of the past."

Speaking to LancsLive, a Lancashire County Council spokesperson said: "We have been working closely with Chorley Council to pump the water away to try to prevent any further damage, and the water level is now dropping.

"Once the water level has reduced enough to allow access we will need to assess the damage and determine what actions will be required before the road can be fully reopened."

A solution to fixing the flooding issue is now in the works, Lancashire County Council has said, with the problem identified as a blockage in a culvert taking runoff water under the road from the River Chor.

The blockage is thought to be logs that have fallen from nearby trees and into the River Chor.

John Davies, head of highways at the county council, said: "We received a report before Christmas that the culvert under Southport Road was being obstructed by a large number of logs and branches which had washed into the river following tree felling operations in the area while awaiting collection.

"We have worked closely with colleagues at Chorley Borough Council and highway teams have attended and removed as much of this debris as they could, however a large log had become firmly wedged in the culvert which unfortunately they have been unable to remove and is restricting the flow of water through the culvert.

"We now need to wait until the water levels have subsided enough to allow someone to safely enter the culvert and cut up the log, however in case this is not possible to do safely, we are also looking into other options to remove the log using remotely controlled equipment. We will continue to monitor the situation and take action as required to ensure that the area remains safe."

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