Penicuik flooding victim left with no home or job

Residents on John Street, Penicuik hit by flooding. Left to right, Viki Frame, Lesley Swan and  Caroline Flockhart.
Residents on John Street, Penicuik hit by flooding. Left to right, Viki Frame, Lesley Swan and Caroline Flockhart.

A Penicuik woman has told of the “mental stress” caused by ongoing flooding which has seen her evacuated from her home and have to leave her job.

Nine properties on John Street, next to the Tesco garage, have been affected by ongoing issues at Cuiken Burn since 2016, often causing damage, leaving homes without power and residents having to use sand bags to protect their homes. The issue stems from a blocked drainage tunnel at the burn which is constantly clogged up.

The burst pipe in Penicuik.

The burst pipe in Penicuik.

Vikki Frame was evacuated from her council home of nine years on August 7. So far only Vikki, the sole council tenant on the street, has been evacuated. She said: “I have been told it’s not safe to live there. I think the structure of the building is an issue. I’m sofa surfing at the moment. I’ve been staying with friends and family.

“My son and his girlfriend, who stayed with me at John Street, have had to go elsewhere as we can’t find somewhere to stay together.”

Vikki spoke of the constant flooding problems at John Street. She said: “It’s always been an issue anytime we have heavy rain, but in the last three years it has got worse. We have been affected 14 times in three years.

“It was just the gardens that were flooded before but now it comes into the houses.

“The water came up through my floorboards. I have lost items including clothes, carpets. We have not had compensation.

“It’s not livable conditions. It stinks, it’s like sewage.

”Environmental Health say the moisture levels are off the scale. There are wee kids living on the street whose asthma has got worse. It’s definitely down to the damp.”

Speaking about the impact on her health, Vikki said: “The stress every time it rained was too much to take. It affected my work as a dental nurse. I have now left work. I was no longer able to work due to stress and anxiety.

Flooding on John Street, Penicuik.

Flooding on John Street, Penicuik.

“Another lady had heart failure in August when the flooding was really bad.

“They don’t realise how it affects you. It’s not just the damage. It’s the mental stress.”

The blockage is on land currently at the middle of a dispute between Beatsons Building Supplies and AF Noble and Sons. Vikki added: “The courts have said it’s Beatsons’ responsibilty but they say its Nobles’.

“I think they are trying to fix it but its getting worse.

Flooding on John Street, Penicuik.

Flooding on John Street, Penicuik.

“Local councillor Debbi McCall has held meetings with the council on our behalf.”

Beatsons declined the opportunity to comment.

More flooding occurred last weekend, with attempts to pump out the water hampered by a leak in a hose.

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “Midlothian Council is pro-actively managing an ongoing flooding issue at the Loan Burn, Penicuik.

“The cause of the flooding is a collapsed culvert on private land. Unfortunately, while the cause of the issue is on private land, the impact affects roads and houses in the immediate area and Midlothian Council deploys pumps to mitigate the effects.

“A privately appointed contractor has recently started construction work on the private land to excavate and replace the collapsed culvert. Midlothian Council is cooperating with the contractor where possible and will continue to monitor water levels in the burn and take appropriate mitigating action.”