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News Bulletin – 30th June 2014

In 2012 a report was commissioned by Guildford Borough Council to study the extent of Surface Water Flooding in Guildford Borough. The Company charged with producing the report was Halcrow Group Limited. This initial commission did not include the West of the Borough (Ash, Ash Vale and Tongham), as this was viewed as part of the Blackwater Valley. However, in 2013 the scope was widened to include these areas.  The final report should eventually highlight the areas at risk, and show the long term plans to manage these risks.

As part of the study, Halcrow consultants visited the area and ASHRA representatives were permitted to accompany them, explaining the topology of the area, the very complex sewage, drainage and stream network, and why all of these areas have such serious problems with flooding.

In June 2014 Halcrow produced a draft of their report which has now been published on the Guildford Borough Council website. It can be viewed via the following link. http://bit.ly/1nWS64q

Guildford Borough Council issued a press release on 27th June asking for residents to give their feedback on the draft report. This can be found on the following link. http://bit.ly/1vkvAoY. If you wish to comment, you can by email on engineeringservices@guildford.gov.uk, or alternatively there is an online comment form which can be found at http://svy.mk/1q8tFEp.

We, at ASHRA, are currently working on our comprehensive response to the Halcrow draft report and we will be forwarding this to Guildford Borough Council later this week. In the mean time, we have issued the following press release:-

"Ash Residents Association welcomes Guildford Borough Council's publication of the draft Ash Surface Water Management Study for comments and feedback, but with some reservations.

Ash Residents Association believes the report's identification and analysis of flooding hotspots in Ash Vale North, Ash Vale South, Ash Station Area and Tongham to be broadly correct. The identification of Ash South and Ash Lodge Drive as a flooding hotspot is also correct but there are some technical errors in that element of the report which need to be addressed.

Ash Residents Association will be providing a full and detailed response in due course, but believe that, when relevant corrections have been made to the report, the current estimate of £750,000 in proposed mitigation measures for South Ash will be significantly increased.

Roger Smolski, Secretary of the Ash Residents Association said "At last it looks as if Guildford Borough Council is beginning to recognise surface water flooding in the area as a serious issue. ASHRA provided a detailed Flooding Report to the Council in January 2013 in response to the planning application for 400 homes on Ash Meadows, and it's good to see our analysis substantially confirmed. Once the draft report is finalized it will become even more apparent that approving the building of 400 homes on the lowest point in Ash, based on only a superficial understanding of the flood risk, was a mistake of enormous proportions."

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