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Flooding: Action you can take

By Trevor Haylett Charlwood Parish Council

Monday, 20 December 2021


Charlwood Parish Council Contributor


Flooding is no longer a rare event - something that happens to others in particularly vulnerable areas but hardly likely to affect you. Flooding is now a real threat to all of us - because of climate change, the demand for new housing and the concreting of areas previously used for soakaways, the antiquated nature of much of the drainage system etc etc. An estimated 80,000 properties in towns and cities are at risk of floods.

The UK is getting wetter. Rain is more frequent and at a higher volume than it used to be. According to the Met Office, climate change has increased the risk of severe winter rain sevenfold.

What can you as a Homeowner do to minimise the risk of flooding at your home? Homeowners are responsible for the drainage pipes on their properties. Keep them maintained and look out for potential blockages. Look out for blocked public drains on your street. The sooner a blockage is fixed, the less likely it is to cause a flood.

If you own property next to a river, stream, or ditch, then you have extra responsibilities. You’re considered a “riparian owner”, and you must keep the waterways in good condition so that there’s less chance of flooding. Ensuring ditches on or next to your land are clear of debris is essential to help prevent surface water flooding. Falling leaves can quickly clog up gutters and drains.

However, you also have the right to protect your land and property from floods – what’s known as “flood resistance”. If you want to know more about your rights and responsibilities as a riparian owner, contact your local land registry department or the Environment Agency.

It is a common fallacy that a blocked cluvert under peoples' driveways is down to Surrey County Council and its Highways deprtment to fix. In the most part it is not.

More information can be obtained by clicking on this SCC link here while this YouTube film may also prove helpful -

This guide from also provides a lot of useful information and tips. To access it click here.

Contact Information

Janette Coulthard

Find Charlwood Parish Council

Charlwood Sports & Community Centre, 43 The Street, Charlwood, Horley, Surrey, RH6 0BY