Les Huett - BRA Communications
Back in January 2013 the inaugural meeting of the Bookham Flood Forum took place with representatives from Bookhams Residents’ Association, Surrey County Council (SCC), Mole Valley District Council and the National Trust being in attendance. The aim and objective was to identify drainage problems around the village; establish responsibilities for solving these problems; to monitor the agreed remedial works.
There was a follow up meeting in March 2013 with the Forum and Thames Water and the Environment Agency. One of the problems identified was the persistent flooding at the Lower Road / East Street / Squareabout / Church Road junction. Sound familiar?
Things dragged on and in September 2018 the BRA initiated a petition which a large number of residents supported petitioning SCC to allocate funds to complete the ongoing investigative work and the implementation of a drainage scheme to resolve what was a complex drainage problem. The petition was accepted and preparation work commenced with the new drainage infrastructure finally built during the autumn 2021.
As residents will be well aware the drainage works, at the time of writing are almost complete in Lower Road / East Street and we understand the next stage will be an uplift to the drainage in Church Road in the New Year.
This has been a complex problem to resolve with many utility services passing along the Lower Road and poor infrastructure plans. It took a lot of preparation work to identify what was actually underground and to ensure these were not damaged during the works.
Credit goes to SCC and their contractors in that they were able to finish the works nearly three weeks early and re-open Lower Road and did not cause any accidental damage or outages to existing infrastructure.
Credit also goes to the Flood Forum team for their persistence in not only resolving this flooding problem but other flooding problems as well. Due to Bookham’s location on a spring line and dated infrastructure there will be always flooding problems to address but this shows the Bookham community; Bookham Councillors and local Councils; and utility providers can work together to resolve these issues.
And thank you to those residents who adapted to the closure of Lower Road during the works and those residents who had increased traffic flows due to the diversions. We should all now benefit from these new drains.