The course of the Wealdstone Brook causing concern over flood risk
Following a series of recent first hand observations of the Wealdstone Brook between Becmead Avenue in Harrow and the Falcon Way bridge in Brent, John Timms MBE – a local expert hydrologist with a wealth of knowledge and 35 years of experience on hydrology issues including the Wealdstone Brook - and John Poole, a local Kenton resident for 50 years whose garden also backs on to the Wealdstone Brook, have both concluded that they are very concerned about the potential impact of a severe storm event in the Kenton area of the Brent catchment.
The lack of Wealdstone Brook base and bank maintenance and observed obstructions in the brook have led us to conclude that there is the potential for a serious flooding event the next time there is a torrential downpour which can cause the brook to fill up rapidly, for the water in the brook to move at a speed approaching 2.5 metres per second and a discharge of 20 cubic metres per second, for the foul surface and foul sewer network to reach maximum capacity quickly and overflow creating a major flooding event in the area.
On the 16th and 17th of August 1977 1,200 homes and business were flooded to a depth of up to 1.5 metres in the Brent catchment. The factors that exacerbated the flooding then are still present 45 years later and John Poole personally witnessed the event in 1977.
We are issuing this joint statement because, although Thames Water is presently carrying out its legal duties in locating and dealing with sewage and surface water pollution of the Wealdstone Brook in Harrow and Brent, we do not believe that the agencies with responsibility for maintaining flood risks in the area, namely Harrow and Brent councils, Thames Water and the Environment Agency, are taking the necessary action to reduce the risks from potential flooding in the area.
We have photographic evidence of potential obstructions in the Wealdstone Brook which, during a severe storm event, may cause blockages of culverts along the open length of the brook, which is mainly in Brent, with consequential flooding of residential and public properties.
We call upon Brent and Harrow Councils, Thames Water and the Environment Agency to find ways of working together with local stakeholders to urgently find a resolution to these issues of the maintenance of the Wealdstone Brook in order to reduce the risks of flooding in the future. This should include recommendations to improve resilience to future flooding events as well as implementing locally the final recommendations in July 2022 of the Independent Review into the severe flooding in London on 12 July 2021 and 25 July 2021.