Affinity Water has notified the Parish Council that Ockham Road South will be closed throughout November, the first week in December and much of January to allow for the installation of a new water main. Affinity Water is holding a ‘Community Drop in Event’ on Wednesday 11 October in the East Horsley Village Hall to listen to concerns from residents and local business owners. The following is an explanation from Affinity Water as to why the work is necessary.
“The works are due to start on Ockham Road South are essential. With a growing population and a rise in developments across our region, combined with environmental challenges of hotter, dryer, longer summers, the stress on our water resources is significant. The purpose of the work is to improve our network infrastructure by building water resilience in the area by installing 600m of new water main. This in turn will allow us to continue supplying high quality drinking water to the local community long into the future. The pipe will be laid on Ockham Road South from the junction of Lynx Hill down to the junction of Guildford Road (A426).
This specific section of Ockham Road South has been designed to act as a critical support system to push more water into the area. Affinity Water are regulated to provide a minimum pressure and flow volume to each and every consumer, we have seen a steady decline in this area, particularly during periods of high demand. During those periods there is a negative impact to the supplies in the area in the form of low pressure. With additional demand coming onto our network daily with the construction and development of housing projects, the need to support the area with more water is accelerated.
Affinity Water have been in conversation with the local authority, Surrey County Council (HA) with the intention to secure the required road space for the construction of this project for well over a year. The co-ordination of any works between a Utility and a HA takes into account other works in the area, clashes with other diversion routes for example, community events, proximity to schools etc. The window of opportunity on this occasion has been set by the local Highways Authority. They are responsible for co-ordinating the road network and we know there is a significant volume of other works being carried out in and around this area. The National Highways works and the Junc10 improvements for example where their planned closures impact our works and vice versa. It is not by any means an easy to try and co-ordinate everybody. Affinity Water have explored all available options to differ the work, to January for example, however we are informed there is not sufficient availability to complete these works at other times than the dates provided. This is due to clashes with the motorway works and other scheduled works being co-ordinated.
Our permit of works has been granted for the dates of 31 October – 31 January.
Planned works of this nature comes with a commitment, we are required to send out advanced communications two weeks prior to works starting, we are also required to place Advance Warning Boards out on site, again two weeks prior. As a wholesaler we have an obligation to inform the retailers of any business owners within the vicinity of our works. I can confirm this was done in early August. Our communications team have scheduled letters, emails and text messages to all those within the area of impact, to arrive over the coming days.
Our intention of course is not to create major disruption, we always look to work with residents and business owners to mitigate impact as far as reasonably practicable. This may include, ‘Business Open As Usual’ signs being placed out, maintaining access where safe to do so. A road closure is always a last resort and one we will only ever undertake on the grounds of safety. Ockham Road South is narrow and one that comes with archaeological challenges alongside, with listed walls and structures along the route. We need to protect these, members of public and of course our own teams throughout.
As the road is traffic sensitive, Surrey CC have instructed us to stop works in December, we are provisioning for our last day on site to be around 8 December, coming back on the 8 January to recommence. In that time the road will be re-opened and we will clear site completely.
For businesses that are able to evidence there has been a negative financial impact as a direct result of our activities, a Loss of Business Claim can be submitted regarding compensation. However, this would only be considered on completion of the works to ensure an accurate financial assessment can be made on any loss presented.
Affinity Water Customer Letter