Plan agreed to tackle persistent flooding in Abbs Cross Lane

Meeting held to discuss flooding problems

MP Julia Lopez held a meeting on July 26 to discuss the persistent flooding at Abbs Cross Lane and recent downpours which hit locations in Harold Wood and Harold Hill. - Credit: Hornchurch Residents’ Association

A plan has been agreed to tackle the persistent flooding in Abbs Cross Lane.

Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez met with representatives from the key players involved in local flood management - Transport for London (TfL), Havering Council, Network Rail and Thames Water - on July 26.

Alongside addressing the recurring problem in Hornchurch, the group also discussed recent incidents which affected Harold Wood and Harold Hill.

Cllr Gerry O’Sullivan (Saint Andrews, Residents' Group), who has been outspoken about the long-running issue in Abbs Lane, was also at the meeting.

A section of that street - where the road is bridged crossing the railway - has been plagued by flooding problems for years, with the Hornchurch Residents' Association calling for action as recently as June.

Following that incident, the parties could not agree whose responsibility the issue was.

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Havering Council said it was a matter for Thames Water, whose spokesperson said June's flooding was TfL's responsibility.

TfL denied this, claiming the land is owned by Network Rail.

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However, today's meeting saw something of a consensus reached and a plan of action agreed.

The four organisations involved have agreed to overlay maps with the aim of developing a better understanding of the utilities in the location.

Following this, engineers will be meeting again on-site in August to undertake further inspections.

Ms Lopez and Cllr O'Sullivan are to be updated in the middle of the month.

The Hornchurch and Upminster MP was pleased with the progress: "I am pleased that stakeholders will be sharing their data and surveys before they have a site visit in mid-August.

"I will be chairing a further meeting after this visit and will share information with constituents when I can."

She also thanked constituents for raising these concerns.

The group also discussed the freak conditions which battered Harold Wood and Harold Hill on June 25.

Following flooding in the Bates Road Industrial Estate, which lays close to the railway, Network Rail has pledged to review the condition of culverts along the River Ingrebourne. 

In Harold Hill, the council has confirmed gullies on Taunton Road, Ramsay Gardens and Noak Hill Road had been cleared, alongside ditches in Hitchin Close and the south side of Noak Hill Road.

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