Saturday, July 20, 2024

A Flood Forum could be created for Newbury

A meeting to consider setting up a Newbury Flood Forum has been arranged for Thursday 14th July 2022 in Newbury. Details of how to join the meeting are below.

The role of a local Flood Forum is to coordinate community action to prepare for and assist the statutory authorities if and when flood events occur. The Forum can also request information from the authorities to assist with preparing their own properties to be resilient to flooding and help leverage grant funding to pay for communal efforts and projects.

At the meeting, key officers from West Berkshire Council the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) will explain their roles and representatives of Thames Water and the Environment Agency (EA) are also invited.

The meeting is being called now due to the increased risk of flooding from various causes, particularly in the lower lying parts of the town where the drainage system is overloaded and ageing and the water table is highest.

There are now detailed flood risk maps showing where the greatest risks occur. These are affecting many property insurance premiums and they impact the policies of the Local Planning Authority as it prepares a new Local Plan through to 2037.

Several hundred more properties including much of the town centre commercial area as well as lower lying homes in the Lambourn and Kennet floodplain are now said by Environment Agency to be at risk. Additionally, EA maps showing where surface water flash floods are more likely to occur on the urbanised valley sides are now published for the first time.

The implications for many families and businesses in Newbury could be profound but we can do a great deal together to prepare and assist the authorities if we work together.

The meeting is on Thursday 14th July from 5-7pm at the Riverside Community Centre in the Clay Hill area of Newbury.  It is open to anyone who thinks their home, their business or their property might be affected by flooding and professionals working in relevant fields are also welcome. Thanks to Clay Hill Community Association, attendance in person is free. Numbers are limited, so please email Tony Vickers at [email protected] if you wish to attend.