It was around this time one year ago that the weather became a news story, and as snow and rain fell on to the hills to the south of Croydon, so half-forgotten streams re-emerged from their subterranean courses to begin to flow, ever fuller, around Kenley, Purley and Whyteleafe.
Usually dry ditches were re-introduced to residents as the Caterham Bourne and the Coulsdon Bourne. And as the rain continued to fall on saturated ground, by February, the floods had properly arrived, schools were evacuated, Kenley became Kenley-under-Thames, and the Godstone Road was closed for weeks on end.
After the clear-up, it took until last week before a £4.9 million bid to be submitted for a flood prevention scheme for the affected parts of north Surrey. Tandridge District Council – just across the boundary from Croydon – is working with Surrey County Council to submit a joint bid for £4.2 million to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, with the county council providing £700,000 match funding.
The money will pay for new drainage from Junction 6 of the M25 via Wapses Lodge to the Croydon border. It will also pay for resurfacing the A22 between Oxted Road and Wapses Lodge and footpaths from Wapses Lodge to New Barn Lane.
It is interesting that such a bid has taken so long to formulate. It is also instructive that the now private interests of Thames Water and other water companies, who have much of the responsibility for culverts, sewers and drainage, appear unaffected by any demands on their finances to put right some of the issues which were identified during the flooding, at least some of which as a consequence of their poor infrastructure and maintenance.
Some measures have been taken in the past 10 months to avert the worst of any flooding in future.
Two permanent water storage areas have been installed with control sluice gates and a third is planned between Stuart Road and Bug Hill, similar to the temporary lakes which were used as emergency reservoirs in fields and in the pedestrian subway at Purley Cross to slow and divert the Caterham Bourne.
The funding bid will be determined by February, and if it is successful, then work will commence in the summer.
As for plans within the borough of Croydon… Ah, well…
We put in a request to Councillor Kathy Bee, the cabinet member responsible for such matters, a couple of months ago to outline the council’s plans. We’ve heard nothing since.
Coming to Croydon
- Christmas music and jam session, South Norwood, Dec 28
- David Lean Cinema, Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief, Dec 29
- David Lean Cinema, The Beat Beneath My Feet, Dec 30
- David Lean Cinema, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Jan 3
- David Lean Cinema, Mr Turner, Jan 8
- David Lean Cinema, Leviathan, Jan 13
- Norwood Society talk: Penge, the making of a suburb, Jan 15
- David Lean Cinema, The 78 Project Movie, Jan 15
- David Lean Cinema, Hannah Arendt, Jan 20
- David Lean Cinema, The Imitation Game, Jan 22
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
- David Lean Cinema, Night Will Fall, Jan 27 (Holocaust Memorial Day)
- David Lean Cinema, Kon-Tiki, Jan 29
- Norwood Society talk: Crystal Palace and Dulwich, Feb 19
- Norwood Society talk: Charlies Dickens in Norwood, Mar 19
- Norwood Society: Balloons and airships at Crystal Palace, Apr 16
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