Town's flood defence needs to grow, officials say

A flood defence scheme to protect Guildford from the River Wey has grown since it was shared with the public six years ago.

Early plans for the Guildford Flood Alleviation Scheme were first revealed in 2018 but now "a larger area has been identified that could benefit", officials have said.

A drop-in event is to be held in the Surrey town on 18 April, as the Environment Agency and councils work on a scheme to reduce the risk.

In January, the fast-running River Wey burst its banks in the town at the entrance to Millmead car park as river levels across Surrey rose after heavy rain.

Ten years earlier, during the floods of 2013-14, the River Wey reached its highest levels in nearly 15 years, flooding more than 160 properties in Guildford and Cranleigh.

The flood alleviation scheme website says: "The risk of flooding in Guildford will get worse with climate change. It is only a matter of time before we see another serious flood."

Further papers on the borough council's website Shaping Guildford's Future included comparisons on how the scheme had grown.

The Environment Agency said Guildford had "a long history of flooding from the River Wey".

Current flood protection measures include work by the authorities such as the fire service to help those at greatest risk.

The Environment Agency also maintains the River Wey with work to cut back vegetation and remove blockages to help reduce flooding, plus temporary flood barriers can be put up in Mary Road and William Road if a flood warning is issued.

The drop-in consultation event runs from 14:00 until 19:00 BST on 18 April at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

Project director Jon Mansbridge said: "Several members of the Environment Agency project team will be there to answer questions."

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