Oakley Green, Fifield & District Community Association
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Drainage update report 33 - 15.01.2023
In Dec 2021 we were told that new funding had been applied for to carry out the long-awaited and long-delayed (from 2014) Area Catchment Study. Early in 2022 we learned from RBWM's newly arrived Ben Crampin that funding had been approved and the study would proceed. When we asked later for an update it transpired that there was another delay to investigate if more funding could be obtained to allow more to be achieved. Now here we are a year later and I asked the question again last week of both RBWM and their consultants Project Centre. I will of course keep trying and will add the info to ogafcap.co.uk when I have it but so far I have received no acknowledgement or reply to the questions I asked ...

1 - The status of the long-awaited Area Catchment Study.

2 - Manor Grove culvert and the waterway leading to it through Bray Parish land.

3 - The situation at the nearby speed bump just south of Longlea Nursing Home - Wet Spot 2.

4 - The building site just north of the Fifield Inn where the 3rd house is built pretty much in the main drainage ditch. This looks as if it might have been having problems and certainly could potentially disrupt the main exit eastwards for water from the entire area from Stewart Close down to the Memorial Hall - Wet Spot 7.

5 - The Fifield Inn, where the ditch has been repeatedly full to overflowing and running northward along the road. The whole stretch northward in front of the cottages to the next open ditch appears to be dysfunctional and there has been a pump operating in an attempt to take water from the ditch to the other side of the road - Wet Spot 7B.

6 - Coningsby Lane junction with Fifield Road which is backing up again from the gullies leading to the culvert under Fifield Road just to the south at Willow Creek. One-way flaps silted again ? - Wet Spots 4 & 8.

I expect most Residents are now very aware of Planning applications that are threatening our green spaces. The first of these seeks to expand the so called "Agricultural" usage that has allowed the erection of 4 large barns with hard standing and access track leading off Coningsby Lane to install a butchery and freezer equipment in one of the barns. There have been roadworks along Coningsby Lane to install a 3-phase power supply to the field. These days a 3-phase supply is only really needed for a fairly heavy-duty operation. This commercial industrialisation emphasizes the continual process of turning Green Belt green field sites into brown field ones. OGAFCA Environment have submitted objections and asked Theresa May for support which she has speedily given.

The second threat is from an application to turn Gay's Lane and its surroundings into a HUGE development of a Film Studio. More information on both applications at ogafcap.co.uk.

I have also tried to communicate with the Parish Council in connection with item 2 above. I raised this issue in the last Newsletter explaining that after a meeting in the Parish Office I was assured that the Manor Grove Resident who had unexpectedly received a Solicitor's letter would be contacted with an explanation and an invitation to discuss the issues. At that time of writing nothing had yet happened after 3 weeks although RBWM's new Flood Risk manager had found time to visit the Resident.

Since then I have asked periodically if anything has happened - only to be disappointed. At the end of Oct 2022 I contacted the Parish Councillor and Clerk who had agreed this way forward at our meeting in the Parish Office a month earlier - but received no reply. I checked once more on Jan 5 2023 and still nothing had happened. So I sent yet another enquiry to the Parish on January 7 2023 and copied in EVERY Parish Councillor - again no reply. I have now discovered that a Parish letter actually was sent on Nov 9 2022 which apparently never arrived. I have also just learned that an email was sent to the Resident dated Dec 19 2022 which was not received until Jan 18 2023 ! It seems there has been much chaos in cyberspace as well as with "snailmail" so I will now need to apologise to the Parish Council for hounding them in error.