CONCERN is growing in Badshot Lea that mineral extraction work is the root cause of recent flooding.
Mike Probert, chairman of the trustees of Badshot Lea Village Hall, complained that excavation at the Hanson site, north of the A31, had caused the surrounding area to flood, causing the hall to be partially flooded.
Mr Probert rounded on Waverley Borough Council for their complicit stance on the site’s development.
“What I see is a deliberate policy on the part of the local authority not to concern themselves with the problem and constant passing of the buck.”
According to villagers, the gravel pit has blocked the natural drainage channels to the Blackwater River and, with nowhere else to go, the water is overflowing from ditches alongside St George’s Road.
Asked how confident he was that the village would not be experiencing flooding if it were not for Hanson’s gravel works, Mr Probert said: “I am 100% confident that we would not be in the situation we are if Hanson were not there.”
There was concern in the village about the rising water, particularly from David Attfield, whose St George’s Road home is closest to the rising water.
Speaking on Thursday, after another torrential downpour, Mr Attfield said: “The quarry workings have destroyed all the natural drainage channels to the Blackwater River.”
Pointing the finger, he added: “I think we have been let down by the local authority, Surrey County Council and the quarry people.
“I would like to see a suitable alternative for the surface water problem created for the village.”
Badshot Lea councillor Mark Norris acknowledged the problem.
“All the rain over the last few months has raised the water table considerably and it’s going to be an increasing problem with the changes in the weather we are getting,” explained Cllt Norris.
He added that all parties would need to co-operate to find a solution to the problem.
However, he conceded that action would only be effective with the involvement of local landowners.
Asked whether he thought that Hanson’s gravel works had caused the recent floods, Cllr Norris said: “I don’t want to commit myself to saying it’s categorically Hanson’s fault.
“But it’s entirely possible that is the cause of the problem but I’d like to see it proved.”
A spokesman for Hanson said: “It’s not our fault. It’s a problem of nature.
“We have done a lot of work on drainage and if anything we have improved the drainage in the area and have reinstated some ditches around the site.”