Flood Forum


Michael Agius

BRA continues to try and resolve the villages’ many drainage problems through the Bookham Flood Forum, along with SCC Highways (SCC), Thames Water (TW) and the Bookham Flood Action Group.

The collapsed and blocked lengths of 150mm diameter surface water drain previously identified by TW in Little Bookham Street (LBS) between Lower Road and Bennett Farm Place, are programmed to be repaired in the near future. In the same vicinity, SCC have programmed work to clear blockages in several gully connections to TW’s drain. Just north of Bennett Farm Place, TW have recently replaced a length of blocked 150mm drain on the east side of LBS, as shown in the adjacent photo. The 150mm drain increases to 225mm diameter north of Childs Hall Road but even here there are a few problem areas. As mentioned in the Roads Report, all these drainage problems need to be resolved before re-surfacing of LBS can take place under Project Horizon.

SCC Highways have carried out further investigations on Lower Road between East Street and the Squareabout, which have been discussed in great detail in recent issues of the Newsletter. Recent work included investigation of a gully connection under Lower Road just east of East Street, including construction of a new manhole where the connection had been broken by utilities running along Lower Road. On the north side of Lower Road the recently discovered drain alongside the church wall was jetted and a blockage located. This has to be investigated further, as do blockages in a couple of gully connections under Lower Road west of East Street.

In answer to BRA’s question to the recent Local Committee, SCC replied “the drainage investigation and repair on Lower Road between East Street and the Squareabout remain on-going, as resources permit, along with other sites in the Bookham area. The work on Lower Road forms a part of the Bookham Flood Forum work and a number of investigations and repairs have been carried out and completed. Further repairs have also been identified from the work completed so far and these will need to be carried out in the new financial year subject to available revenue budgets. The Maintenance Engineer will continue to work with The Flood Forum to resolve these issues and provide updates”.  The fact that problems in the area have yet to be finally resolved is disappointing and BRA will continue to put pressure on SCC to complete the work through the Flood Forum.

Proposals for drainage improvements at the Dorking Road junction with the Polesden Lacey access road have been finalised. However, in answer to BRA’s question to the recent Local Committee, SCC replied “One of the main issues with the construction of the scheme is the need for continued public access to Polesden Lacey. The National Trust have indicated that in order for them not to suffer excessive financial burdens from the restricted access the works will cause, they have indicated that the scheme needs to be carried out between November and March. We believe that the scheme could go ahead at the National Trust’s preferred dates of December 2017/January 2018 but this, as with all the schemes is dependant of the finalised budget allocated for the Capital Highway Drainage Programme in 2017/18”. In the meantime the BRA continues to pressurise SCC to carry out very necessary routine maintenance of gullies and soakaways along the whole length of Dorking Road.

Other areas where the BRA continue to seek solutions are:

  • the ditch between the Lower Road Recreational Ground and Little Bookham Common, the subject of riparian responsibilities which are currently ignored by most of the residents living in Childs Hall Road and Sole Farm Avenue whose properties are adjacent to the ditch. The ditch eventually runs into an under capacity culvert, the cause of frequent flooding, before outfalling into Bookham Stream at the Common.
  • the central area of Bookham from the High Street/East Street to The Park/Mill Close, where a study is proposed, subject to finding funding.
  • the footpath from Greenacres to The Park where the outfall is blocked and has no adequate outfall.
  • Kennel Lane/The Glade where there are root blockages in the main outfall to Fetcham