Upper River Mole Revised Flood Study

In January 2000, working with neighbouring parish councils and local residents’ groups at the local plan enquiry, Horley Town Council strongly contested the extent of the indicative 1 in 100 year flood plain.

As a direct result of the evidence collected and the case presented by our flooding consultant, the Local Plan Inspector agreed that the flood model had not been validated and that development should not proceed until the Environment Agency had revised the flood plain taking into account the concerns raised.

In September the Environment Agency published a revised flood plain which shows that areas at risk from flooding were indeed underestimated and that less land is available for Horley’s “strategic location” of 2600 houses. In the North East sector at Great Lakes Farm about two-thirds of the land originally allocated has now effectively been eliminated.

Everyone now agrees that Horley Town Council mounted a highly professional challenge, which successfully refuted evidence put forward by the Environment Agency and also the Borough, County Council and developers.

If the Borough Council decides that it is not possible to accommodate the housing or that essential infrastructure cannot now be delivered, then doubts exist as to the viability of the whole plan. Horley Town Council has already suggested to the Borough Council that another Local Plan enquiry will be necessary and have asked for consultation to recommence with due haste. A map of the EA’s new model is available on the Borough Council’s web site, www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk

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