Fringe Box



Letter: The Planned Flood Alleviation Scheme Will Achieve Very Little

Published on: 11 Jul, 2024
Updated on: 11 Jul, 2024

From: Bibhas Neogi

In response to: Guildford and Housing – We Must Act

It is my understanding that the Environment Agency is neither proposing to lower the flood plain areas nor creating any reservoirs upstream to deal with flooding. Its proposal is to remove developments close to the river that are prone to flooding and create barriers and walls further away from the river. The flood barriers would then allow development of land behind them and even underground parking etc.

John Rigg mentions some 30 to 50 brown field sites that could be developed when flooding risk is eliminated. I am not sure where all these are except for the obvious ones like the surface car parks along the river.

The video shows the altered road network after the removal of the gyratory. This is wishful thinking and thoroughly impractical for the volume of traffic. Modal shift into walking and cycling would not significantly change the future volume of traffic. If anything, it is likely to get worse with traffic from the developments adding to the existing volume

Removal of the gyratory would only be possible when a new east-west route over the river and railway is constructed. SCC and GBC have not considered this seriously enough and the last remaining route, through Jewsons Yard, is now almost lost after the construction, currently underway, of the “Great Wall of Guildford” by Solum at the station.

So, unless the decision is taken to issue a CPO [compulsory purchase order] Jewsons Yard for the new route, Guildford’s congestion will not be resolved at all. The consequence would be slow death of Guildford’s businesses when shoppers from surrounding areas avoid Guildford and go to Woking, Camberley or even Farnham.

Without creating active flood control using storage reservoirs upstream, flooding of Guildford could not be controlled effectively especially now that rainfall has become intense due to climate change.

I emailed the EA and copied John Rigg citing the suggestion of creating reservoirs with leisure areas in and around them and islands in the middle for restaurants and hotel accommodation etc. so the whole complex could bring in revenue for the running of the active control of flows using pumping to discharge water back into the river when river flow subsides.

Such a flood alleviation scheme could be achieved using private financing in addition to government grants. However, EA replied saying that they had no plan to embark on such a scheme.

I am sorry to say to John Rigg that after all the work that has been done, costing £millions so far and a few more £millions for Stage 3 of the FAS [flood alleviation scheme], very little will have been achieved judging by the EA approach, except perhaps for the swollen bank accounts of consultants.

I have shared my ideas freely on “keepandshare” websites for the possible solutions of Guildford traffic that I believe have so far been largely ignored by the councils and I have not seen any response from GVG either.

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Responses to Letter: The Planned Flood Alleviation Scheme Will Achieve Very Little

  1. David Ogilvie Reply

    July 13, 2024 at 10:40 am

    Bibhas Neogi is spot on in his analysis. It is negative thinking to channel the flood through Guildford with retaining walls resulting in more flooding down steam eg at the GBC proposed Weyside Village.

    Catchment reservoirs with sluices to release flood water when the flood subsides are the answer along the 78 mile River Wey. They will not destroy habitat be relatively cheap to construct and not obstruct views of the river. I have sent plans of such a reservoir at St. Catherine’s lock to the Environment Agency but had no response.

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