PRESS RELEASE: Sevenoaks Town Council seeks discussions with Local Flooding Authority and water suppliers about flooding issues in Northern Sevenoaks
Published: 04 January 2024
Sevenoaks Town Council is aware that flooding issues – especially in Northern Sevenoaks (North of Bradbourne Vale Road) have been increasingly serious, with the storm experienced mid-December 2023 having brought with it reports of sinks and bathtubs being backed up with water, and both storm and sewage drains overflowing into residents’ gardens with foul waste.
Both Sevenoaks Town and Sevenoaks District Councillors attended at least two incidences with Thames Water Officers prior to Christmas, witnessing sewage overflowing into the street at Mill Lane and the gardens at Watercress Drive.
Although only two examples of many, it reflects an ongoing issue that the Town Council is aware of, and increasingly concerned about – not only for the public health hazard to its residents, but for the environmental impact, should the overflowing sewage reach the River Darent.
The Mayor of Sevenoaks Town, Cllr Claire Shea said:
The risk witnessed in Northern Ward is not just rivers bursting their banks, but rather storm and foul drains exceeding capacity and overflowing. This is happening with alarming regularity.
I would like to find a way to create a ‘round table’ with all parties - Thames Water, Highways, environmental health. There is so much speculation and heresay about which pipes run where, with what weaknesses, but no clarity about the extent of the problem or readily available drawing of the drainage network. What is clear is that the burden on the pipework in the area is already too great. If it is taking input from uphill in town, this is not going to be resolved without some proper intervention. It isn’t a minor inconvenience, it is a significant public health problem affecting quality of life for citizens and, it seems, polluting the waterways.
The Town Council has therefore reached out to the Local Flooding Authority, Kent County Council, as well as Thames Water, with request for the three parties to discuss and map the key issues relating to flooding, and to investigate potential resolutions. Request was also made to Kent County Council for involvement of other related parties, such as Highways and Environmental Health, and it is understood that Kent County Councillor Richard Streatfeild is also reaching out to his colleagues at Kent County Council to address the matter.
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