Croydon’s growing problem of flooding and surface water run-off

More and more residents around the Borough are becoming concerned about surface water run off and culverts and rivers and streams overflowing. I has become clear, especially in Norbury, that the Council does not have a detailed understanding of what is happening other than in rivers like Norbury Brook. It has now informed me through a FoI answer that:

‘A definitive survey map of all know watercourses in Croydon was recently undertaken and the finalised plan is expected to be completed by the summer.

The map will give some indication of the open and closed sections of the Norbury Brook (along sections that were accessible for the survey to be undertaken).

However, currently, the Norbury Brook is the only mapped watercourse in the Norbury area and is shown on the map extract below and via the web link.

The Environment Agency document “Living on the Edge” outlines the duties and responsibilities of Risk Management Authorities (Councils) and Riparian for culverts and other watercourses.

Croydon’s responsibilities are outlined at

  1. If the Council has legal responsibility when did it assume that responsibility?

The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 placed legal duties on the Council as described in the document below:

On 6th April 2012, the Council took over responsibilities from the Environment agency for Ordinary Watercourses Consenting

  1. If the Council has legal responsibility what action has it taken to ensure that culverts in Norbury are not blocked or built over, specifying which stretches?

Our website outlines our flood risk strategy for managing flood risk across the borough

The Dropped Kerb Problem

Residents who convert their front gardens into parking spaces which require dropped kerbs contribute to the surface run-off problem by reducing the role of the gardens to soak up rainwater, and if the hard standings are not porous. More and more hard standings are being made with inc reassign requests to the Council for dropped kerbs.

The following information  comes from the answer (17 March) to a FoI question from S. Emmet.

  1. How many dropped kerbs did the council install in years 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 & 2015 – to end of Jan 2016?
  • Year    2012/13       –    207
  • Year    2013/14       –   195
  • Year    2014/15       –   339
  • Year    2015/16       –    420
  1. What was the income to the council for dropped kerbs in the above years?

Income received for the above years is £1,395,042.28

  1. Are there any plans to change the rules for dropped kerb applications & installations in light of recent flooding in Kenley Purley & South Croydon?

The crossover application process has recently changed to limit the maximum size of domestic crossovers to 3.6m, removing the option of vehicles being able to park parallel to their property and recommending sustainable drainage provisions for resident’s hardstanding within the property across the borough, and not just in Kenley and Purley.

  1. Are there any plans to increase the cost of a dropped kerb application & installation?

There are currently no plans to increase the costs of the application fee; the cost of the installation is linked to the council Highways contract which is subject to an annual price fluctuation review, and so at this stage we are unable to confirm prices will remain the same.



About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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