Are they becoming punch drunk?

Said one worried villager over there in the punch drunk East of Waverley…


“On Sunday afternoon, 3rd January, I had a knock on the door from a neighbour, advising me that Waverley had said Nightingales was at severe risk of flooding and that they were in attendance at the troublesome culvert for the Holdhurst Brook under Nightingales and Fortune Drive. I had a further visit shortly after to advise that they were distributing sand bags.

I went out a little later and met the council guy who I assume was from Veolia. He looks after 4 culverts in the area and said he would be visiting ours at least hourly all night as there was a significant risk of flooding – the water level wasn’t quite as high as 2013 but nevertheless significant. He’d found the Brook partly blocked earlier due to thoughtless residents dumping one or more Christmas trees in it. However, he said that had merely exacerbated the problem earlier – the issue was the volume of water coming into the Brook and the ability of the culverts to cope. He was certainly still there late in the evening but we were lucky and there was no repeat of Christmas 2013.

What I find baffling is that we’ve lived here for nearly 30 years and there has never been an issue with the Brook until 2013. This date roughly coincides with the building of the Swallowhurst estate. Holdhurst Brook appears to rise in the fields above Cranleigh Mead, going up towards this new estate. Co-incidence of timing and location?

This latest episode makes the planning approval for 149 houses on the fields sloping down towards and draining into, the already overloaded Holdhurst Brook, just after the troublesome culvert even more concerning. It would be nice to think that part of the infrastructure improvements they are paying for would include enlarging that culvert!

As a resident its very concerning to know that in the event of very heavy rain, we are reliant on one man from Veolia being in attendance to prevent our properties from flooding.

To remind you of Christmas Eve 2013: The flood hit 17 houses with an estimated cost approaching £½ million. If the water had been about an inch deeper it would have hit the other side of Nightingales, probably affecting 30+ more houses.”

and now in Bramley…

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