Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association Ltd
Wet Spot 04 - 16.12.2017

4 - Coningsby Lane north

This has actually been going on since 2001 when there was bad flooding in Fifield. A local resident has been unhappy about suggestions that have been proposed and Streetcare are reluctant to agree that a ditch historically existed and functioned which became defunct when a drive to a new house was installed without a pipe in the late 1980s.

Some small work has been done due to the generosity of the local farmers (Paul and Simon Rinder, Stroud Farm). But sadly this has proved not to be particularly effective in the great scheme of things, although the repair of roadside parking was a beneficial spin-off. Although the limited ditching work possibly slightly delays the familiar overflow onto the road this was the location of severe flooding yet again on Saturday 4 January 2014. This happens regularly whenever there is heavy and prolonged rainfall - Photos.

In an attempt to move the discussion forward we requested estimates from 3 local contractors so that the parties involved could at least get a feel for the funding that might be required. Sadly none of the contractors was prepared to become embroiled in a situation where there was not 100% agreement and we received no written replies.

After 16 years of trying to achieve an improvement for Coningsby Lane north we have achieved very little indeed. Streetcare have been reluctant to support our proposal to re-instate a ditch that functioned until 1989-90 unless there is unanimous agreement among the local residents. Whatever is to be done requires approval, cooperation, and commitment from Streetcare as we cannot achieve anything without their support.

In early summer 2016 a meeting was held with Streetcare, Cllrs Dudley and Coppinger, and OGAFCA, at which it was agreed that the project would proceed and budget was available. A date for the work was set for late October 2016. Nearly a year after that meeting and 6 months after the work was due to be done nothing had happened. Streetcare passed the task over to consultants and have called on the aid of Greater Crested Newts to justify more delay while environmental assessments evaluate if measures need to be taken or not !

In Autumn 2017 some work seemed to be beginning and much excavation was going on across the Lane at the very point where a new culvert is called for. We were all on the verge of cheering and congratulating each other when we requested information from RBWM. The reply included the following :

"Following the trial excavation in the carriageway of Coningsby Lane, a further trial excavation to establish the location of the water main which crosses the ditch alongside the footpath is required to help inform the detailed design of the drainage scheme. As the work will take place on non-RBWM land, we are in the process of obtaining land owner permission for the work to take place. Once this is confirmed a work order will be raised, and I will update you again."

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