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Water Drilling on the ‘Moor Lane’ Housing Site

Did you know that in April / May a survey team were drilling on site, for water, with instructions to go 20 or 25mtrs deep to find ‘dry land’.  The drilling was carried out by a company called “SI Drilling” (

Well according to a resident who chatted with one of the surveyors – at no point did they drill through the water to dry land.

On this basis we can presume that the water table sits close to the land surface for the whole site and presumably higher during the autumn / winter or during unseasonal extremes of rain.

Now here are some thoughts / observations / comments:

  • New housing will load the land / compress it causing the water table to rise – with increased hard surfaces and land compression the site will be unable to absorb / hold water as a flood plain should do;
  • The new houses are likely to flood so pity the people who have to live there.
  • Think about the impact / risk of flooding has on ALL our insurance premiums which is based on post-code assessment of risk.

Further to that, one of our local residents talked with a meter reader and he said that houses over at Quartermaine Avenue have flooded in the past and he said a wall had been built to try a stop the flooding but he also said the stagnant water just sits there and the smell is horrible.  We also know that the housing on Newlands Avenue had to be ‘jacked up’ well above the surface to stop them flooding.

Concerned about the risks the aforementioned resident wrote to the Housing Minister, Margaret Beckett and was passed down the line and had a reply from Brendan O’Keeffe the Surrey Planning Case Officer who advised me to contact my local councillor and /or WBC regards flooding, estate etc. On the 19/6/2009 he received the following reply:

Dear Mr XXXX

Goverment planning guidance in Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and flood risk (PPS25) advises that Flood Risk Assessments should be carried out at all levels of the planning process to assess the risks of flooding from all forms of development. As part of the planning process, the applicant will have to demonstrate to the Environment Agency that the proposed development does not increase the risk of flooding to other properties  and that any risk of flooding is minimized.

In the circumstances I would advise you to bring your concerns about flooding on this site to the attention of the Environment Agency or Woking Borough Council.

Yours sincerely
BJ O’Keeffe
Surrey Planning Case Officer.