Drainage and Flooding

Responsibility for drainage is shared between a number of different authorities and companies. This page explains briefly who these stakeholders are and what they are responsible for.

Runnymede Borough Council

To reduce the risk of flooding from the local watercourse network Runnymede Council runs a programme of maintenance of the local streams and drains.  Where considered appropriate we undertake improvement works to reduce flood risk.

Runnymede Borough Council is also the Local Planning Authority and under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and other planning guidance the Council, when assessing applications for planning permission, including new dwellings, has to consider both that any development is sustainable and that it does not present a flood risk within the development or to its surrounding area. We therefore assess all planning applications for risk from river and surface water flooding. To satisfy the requirements of the NPPF for sustainable development the Council requires that, where practical, Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are implemented in all new developments.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has an overall supervisory responsibility for all controlled water ways in England and Wales. They have a specific supervisory role for main rivers.  These are rivers that are shown on the Statutory Map of Rivers and are also referred to as sealed main rivers. The main rivers in Runnymede are: the River Thames, the Chertsey and Addlestone Bourne, the River Wey, the Meadlake Ditch, the Moat, the Hurst Ditch and the Rive Ditch. They are responsible for issuing the necessary consents for any works on a main river and taking enforcement action for any contraventions of the Land Drainage Act.  At times of severe weather they are responsible for providing flood warnings.

Surrey County Council

Surrey County Council is the Lead Local Flood Authority for the whole of Surrey. It has a duty to produce a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for Surrey. They are responsible for issuing the necessary consents for any works on an ordinary watercourse, that is any natural river, stream, brook etc which is not a main river, and for taking enforcement action for any contraventions of the Land Drainage Act.
As the Highway Authority, Surrey County Council also has responsibility for maintaining the road drains and responding flooding from these drains.

Thames Water

Thames Water is the statutory undertaker for drainage in Runnymede, while they are a private company they are also responsible for dealing with flooding from the public foul and surface water sewer network.

Individual householders / Landowner

Individual householders and landowners often have a responsibility to maintain the drains on their own land. Where the source of flooding is from those drains which only serve their properties it is usually the responsibility of the land owner to deal with this.

A riparian owner is the owner of one or both banks of a natural watercourse.  In common law, where opposite banks are in separate ownership, each riparian owner owns up to the centre line of the river. Being a riparian owner brings with it further rights and responsibilities, details of which can be found on the Environment Agencies website.

In line with Government legislation all proposed new dwellings need to submit with a planning application a Surface Water Management plan.