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The Stream walk has gone ahead and informed quotes for hydraulic modelling and surveys to be carried out to produce a plan for mitigation measures. These quotes are currently with Operation Watershed for a funding assessment. November 2018
Lox Stream Walk. This is to take place on Wednesday 26th September 2018. Parish Councillors and our Water Environment Consultant will be walking the route of the Lox Stream. This is to inform on any remedial matters that can be achieved to mitigate flooding in the area of the stream.
LOXWOOD FLOOD FORUM: Following on from the decision by the Environment Agency to not carry out any mitigation for Loxwood of its flooding problem as a result of not being able to obtain funding from Central Government, the Parish Council have met and agreed a course of action with an Environment Consultant. Various topographical surveys and hydraulic models are going to be work upon to establish the best method of reducing the likelihood of flooding. In addition the Parish Council have sent out a questionnaire to the areas that have in the past been affected by flooding to establish actual facts to be used by the Consultant in his modelling. The Parish Council urge all whose garden the Lox Stream runs through to clear thoroughly their ditches and waterways and this speeds the passage of water along the stream at times of heavy rainfall. Ornamental obstructions and fencing across your section of the waterway could be the cause of someone else’s misery from flooding.
The Parish Council met on 23rd February with Water Environment Consultancy to discuss measures that can be taken by the Parish Council to mitigate(although not prevent) flooding in Loxwood. See the minutes of the meeting here.
Following the Environmental Agencies advice to the group that their investigations into the Loxwood flood problem had arrived at the conclusion that Loxwood would not qualify for central government funding, the Parish Council have taken matters into their hands. They have met with the EA and WSCC and are inviting the Consultants Water Environment to carry out further modelling of the situation to establish whether ideas they have will help provide security for those affected by flooding. They have also established a plan of action of local activities that can be carried out to help the situation and the Parish Council will be writing to those residents affected.
Notes of the meeting of the Parish Council, WSCC and the Environmental Agency on 8th July 2016 are available here.
Strategic Business Case for Loxwood prepared by the EA here.
The Minutes of the Flood Forum Meeting held on Friday 24th June are attached here.
The Minutes of the Flood Forum held on 12 February 2016 are attached here
The Flood Forum meeting of 18th September 2015 took place and the minutes are attached here.
20th May 2015
The following matters were brought up at the Loxwood Flood Forum Meeting held on 20th May see the minutes below.
Loxwood Flood Forum Briefing
1.Recent History and Topography
There has been occasional flooding in Loxwood for many years but Christmas 2013 was the worst in memory. 18 dwellings were flooded internally, the highest number in a village in West Sussex, and one resident only moved back in before Christmas 2014.
Most of the flooding was as a result of the Loxwood stream overflowing but there were also problems of blocked drains not taking water away and sewers being overwhelmed resulting in sewage discharge into gardens and houses, particularly in Alfold Bars.
There was also flooding in Alfold village in Surrey just north of Loxwood Parish. A flood forum has been set up in Alfold under the chair of local MP Anne Milton and many of their problems are being addressed. In particular, ditches and culverts have been cleared resulting in better flow of water. There is concern as to the impact of this when it reaches the Surrey/West Sussex border at Alfold Bars as it ceases to be the responsibility of Thames Water and the Waverley and Surrey Councils.
The topography of the land is such that surface and waste water from the north (Alfold) and west (Ifold and Plaistow) of Loxwood drains towards the waste water treatment works in Brewhurst Lane Loxwood.
2. Actions to Date
2.1. Environment Agency and West Sussex County Council representatives have “walked” the course of the Lox stream flowing through the village and identified “hot spots” where water flow is restricted and can cause back up. No actions have resulted from the investigation so far but funding may be available this year to start some work.
2.2. Investigations into the waste water pipes in and around Alfold Bars have been carried out and blockages identified and cleared. Monitoring is continuing.
2.3. The path to the south of North Hall has been raised which it is hoped will to stop the dwellings next door being flooded. Operation Watershed funding has been obtained.
2.4. Surface drains have been inspected and cleared of silt by WSCC Highways and it is hoped this will stop water collecting and localised flooding occurring. Some drains are however still believed to be blocked.
2.5. Environment Agency have suggested a sump should be constructed in the corner of the field opposite North Hall to alleviate silt from the field blocking the ditches and drains. Parish Council have written to the land owner but have not received a response.
2.6. Initial discussions have been held and land survey carried out into the possibility of constructing a water retention scheme in the land behind North Hall.
2.7 A consultant from Water Environments has been contacted and has proposed a conditional, stepped approach to work that might prove to be effective in controlling the water flow along the Lox stream. The first 2 investigative phases have been agreed and funding from Operation Watershed has been applied for. A copy of the phased approach is attached.
3. Problems and Issues
3.1. The impact as a result of the clearance and drainage work in Alfold needs to be understood and any problems identified and remedial actions taken.
3.2. Confirmation is needed that the sewage backflow problems in Alfold Bars have been rectified and monitoring is continuing. There have been some doubts that the sewage pipe diameter is sufficient.
3.3. Any bottlenecks in the waste water system need identifying and fixing, the scope of which needs to be determined but must include all feeds into the pipe system leading to the Brewhurst treatment works. There is some concern that some pipes are inadequate particularly with the increase in housing density.
3.4 The drains need to be checked regularly for blockages and any found should be rectified. There is some doubt that the drains in the road to the north of North Hall are working correctly.
3.5 The proposals from the Water Environments consultant need agreeing with the Environment Agency and WSCC (and any other party that should be involved!). Funding needs to be obtained as each phase of the proposal is considered viable.
3.6. Land owners need to be identified where work needs to be done on sumps and ditches in order to keep water flowing. Action needs to be taken against owners if ditches and water courses are not properly maintained.
FLOOD PREVENTION – RIPARIAN OWNERSHIP
It is vital that all watercourses are kept clear to prevent flooding and the Parish Council tries to ensure that the risk of flooding is minimised… HOWEVER, anyone who has a watercourse within or adjacent to the boundaries of their property is a “riparian owner”.
Riparian Owner Responsibilities
As a riparian owner your responsibilities include the maintenance of the bank and bed of your section of watercourse, in order to avoid any obstruction of flow in the watercourse.
Where the watercourse runs solely through your property you are responsible for both banks and the bed of the watercourse.
Where a water course is sited between two or more property boundaries each owner may be equally responsible.
Riparian Owners and the Law
Your responsibilities as a riparian owner are based on legislation. The principal legislation is summarised below:
The Public Health Act 1936
The Land Drainage Acts of 1991 & 1994
Water Resources Act 1991
National Rivers Authority (now the Environment Agency) Land Drainage Byelaws 1981
Flooding and Water Management Act 2010
The most common problems affecting watercourses are:
Failing to keep vegetation growth under control
Failing to obtain consent for installing pipes or “culverting” of a watercourse. If you want to put in a pipe or culvert you must obtain permission from West Sussex County Council first!
Disposal or storage of garden or domestic rubbish, waste etc. on the banks of watercourses
DON’T THROW GARDEN WASTE INTO A DITCH, STREAM OR ANY OTHER WATERCOURSE.
FOR EVERYONE’S SAKE… CLEAR OUT YOUR DITCHES & CULVERTS BEFORE THE HEAVY WINTER RAIN SETS IN.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO CLEAR OUT YOUR DITCHES, PLEASE CONTACT THE PARISH CLERK, JANE BROMLEY ON 01403 791323 OR EMAIL email@example.com .