Godalming Flood Alleviation Scheme officially unveiled

Properties in the Surrey town of Godalming will be better protected from flooding thanks to a new flood alleviation scheme, which has been officially opened by the Environment Agency.

The £4.5m Godalming Flood Alleviation Scheme was carried out by Mackley working as part of Team Van Oord and on behalf of a partnership comprising the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council, Godalming Town Council, Thames Water and the local Godalming Flood Group.

The scheme, which will reduce the risk of flooding to 90 properties in the town, was officially unveiled on 11 October by Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, and Jeremy Hunt South West Surrey MP.

Emma Howard Boyd said: “This innovative flood scheme project is an example of how partnership working at all levels can achieve fantastic results. 

“As the impacts of the climate emergency become more apparent, making communities like Godalming more resilient is the Environment Agency’s top priority and builds on the Government’s £2.6 billion investment in flood and coastal defences up and down the country.”

Godalming – a history of flooding
Godalming has a history of flooding, with four notable events in recent years – in 1968, 1990, 2000 and 2013.

During the most recent flood in 2013, the area around Meadrow and Catteshall Road were flooded, with access from Meadrow to Godalming severely restricted.

To reduce flooding in this area, the project team has constructed a new flood wall along the banks of ‘Hell Ditch’.

The flood defence is a 525-metre sheet pile flood wall, clad in timber, along the north bank of Hell Ditch. The new defence is built to withstand a flood with a 0.5% probability of one occurring in any year, plus a provision for future climate change.   

A temporary flood barrier – which will only be erected when flood water levels are high – completes the defence across Catteshall Road.

The opening ceremony saw Environment Agency officers demonstrate the removable flood barrier, customised for the scheme, which can be put up quickly to stop flood water flowing from Lammas Land towards Meadrow. 

Two pumping stations have also been installed to pump out a combined total of 84 litres per second.  The pumps catch water fed by the surface water drainage system and ground water, and will pump water back to Hell Ditch during times of high river levels. 

16 October 2019

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