Two councils have asked the Government for £1 million to fund a long-term flood prevention plan to protect thousands of homes and businesses near the Surrey county border with London.
Last month, Surrey and Croydon councils, plus Tandridge Council, the military and Environment Agency, built four temporary reservoirs in Woldingham to prevent Caterham Bourne floodwater from affecting the Kenley waterworks that serves thousands of nearby homes and businesses.
Now, the two councils, with support from the Environment Agency, have asked the Department for the Environment to give £1 million from a flood relief pot to build up to four permanent reservoirs to last several decades.
Two of the permanent reservoirs could be built near Woldingham, with the others likely to be nearer Kenley. Council experts will start work on detailed designs and locations if funding is approved, but no date has yet been fixed on a Government funding decision.
Councillor Mike Fisher, leader of Croydon Council, said: “Despite everyone’s hard work there are some residents and businesses still counting the cost of damage to property and loss of trade. However, the situation would have been far worse if the waterworks had failed. This would have put tens of thousands of homes at the risk of loss of fresh water and would also have increased the likelihood of even more severe local flooding.
“The team responsible for managing the recent situation proved through various temporary measures how effective the use of reservoirs can be. Putting in permanent solutions has to be our next priority as we have a responsibility to protect the safety of local people.”
John Furey, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and the Environment, said: “We’re working hard to keep the residents of Surrey safe, and we hope the Government will fund our long-term plan with Croydon to build on the success of our temporary reservoirs.”
The reservoirs slowed and diverted enough water so the A22 between Whyteleafe Hill and the waterworks was re-opened on Monday, 10 March.