What is Sutton Council doing to reduce the risk of flooding in the borough?

The floods in Worcester Park in the summer directly impacted many residents across the borough. Surface water from heavy rainfall damaged homes and businesses, disrupted transport, and caused upset for many, including some of our most vulnerable residents. 

The Council has been working hard to try to reduce the risk of any future flooding, and we work in partnership with the Environment Agency, Thames Water and other stakeholders to manage flood risk. 

What have we done so far?

  • We’ve installed a cutting-edge early warning system of sensors to tackle future flooding in the borough. The sensors will allow council officers to monitor rising water levels and alert the borough’s drainage contractors to respond quickly to any surface water flooding. 

  • The Leader of Sutton Council has met with Thames Water to ensure they are reminded of their role regarding the maintenance of their water drainage system and to ensure communication channels between Thames Water and the council are open and clear.

  • The Council’s Highways Team have been working to repair any damaged gullies, broken pipework and grates. These measures will allow water levels to subside faster during and after a heavy downpour.

  • We’ve improved our emergency planning web pages detailing what actions residents can take in flooding events, and what we’ll do to help.

What are we doing now?

  • We’ve identified our vulnerable residents so that we can take quick action to ensure their safety and wellbeing in a flood situation. Our ‘preparing for flooding’ leaflet will be distributed to those residents who need it most. It will outline the actions residents can take in flooding events, and what our action plan is to respond and help them.

  • We’re reviewing the whole of our council website to ensure messaging is consistent for our residents, so they know who to contact for flooding information.

  • We’ve developed a new flood preparedness process across council departments so we work more collaboratively to prepare our emergency responses to flooding.

  • The Council is reviewing all planning applications to ensure that new developments mitigate flooding, and plans are in line with The Mayor’s Flooding London Plan - covering run-off rates and surface water management.

What will be done in the future?

Unfortunately climate change means there will be more regular periods of heavy rainfall in the future, which will increase the likelihood of floods. Sutton Council is committed to managing flood risk, keeping our residents safe and keeping on top of this ongoing threat.

  • We will continue to identify the areas most at risk of flooding in the borough, and consider potential flood alleviation schemes to address the existing levels of flood risk. This will reduce the impact of future flooding events. 

  • We are developing specific flood alleviation plans for Worcester Park, Rosehill Park, South Beddington and Beddington Gardens/Wallington Station. Also we are considering smaller scale potential flood alleviation schemes that will be reviewed throughout the course of the year through the Internal Flood Group.

The Worcester Park scheme would launch in Spring 2022 subject to funding from the Government and Thames Water. This would be a large-scale  project to reduce flooding on Cuddington Recreation Ground. Surface water would be absorbed via proposed wetlands with water storage that allow a dry basin area to fill up during heavy rainfall. This scheme would benefit the wider Worcester Park area and hopefully reduce the impact of flooding on properties that have been affected previously by the run-off from Cuddington Recreation Ground. The plan would involve either removing the restriction to the culvert inlet or by-passing the inlet, allowing water to be diverted to the wetland through a weir and new pipe. The Council is currently working with partners to design the scheme but its progress will be dependent on government and Thames Water funding.

Current Projects

  • The Greenspace project will create a new, or enhance an existing, small area of green space in the borough.The project is the start of work by the Council to make Sutton more resilient to climate change, such as planting more trees to create shade and creating green spaces to absorb rainwater. The GreenSpace project is not a formal part of our ongoing flood risk management schemes that require large scale capital investment.