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Home / News / Coombe Cellars Flood Gate
Home / News / Coombe Cellars Flood Gate

Coombe Cellars Flood Gate

Published 11:19 on 3 Oct 2023

The Flood Gate at Coombe Cellars was fitted in October with a padlock by the Environment Agency (EA) so that in the event of potential flooding the gate can be locked in advance. Most recently they have advised that the EA Field Team will be on site to lock and unlock the gate. This will be the position until a new gate is installed, date yet to be advised.

For anyone not familiar with the history of the gate Andy Colyer has been the clubs point of contact with the EA and he has provided the following background info:

The flood gate was originally installed at the request of the Pub (Whitbread Breweries at the time) and was not considered part of the "Flood Prevention Scheme". It was a gesture of goodwill to pub/local community as no properties are affected by flooding at Coombe Cellars, it was purely for the benefit of the car parking there which is used by pub patrons, dog walkers, ramblers etc.

Whitbread originally took responsibility for opening and closing the gate as they were the primary beneficiaries of its installation: it was never locked open or closed. When the current owners of the pub took over they did not understand the circumstances of its installation and decided it was the responsibility of the Environment Agency to open and close the gate, this resulted in several cars being extensively damaged and claims being directed at both the pub owners and TCYC for repairs to said cars. Failure to understand the responsibilities for opening and closing the gate has meant that flooding and damage to cars has now occurred on several occasions with two cars being written off on the last occasion.

Following the last flooding incident another meeting was held with the Environment Agency where it was decided to incorporate the gate into the "Flood Prevention Scheme" and lock it open and closed to prevent this ongoing problem.

A Memorandum of Understanding was agreed with the pub that they would have the responsibility for closing and opening of the gate.

At this meeting it was noted that TCYC has recognised events (primarily racing) that are organised and run under the Club Burgee with a responsible person in charge and the Environment Agency were happy that because there was a responsible person to make decisions and who could be identified, they would issue a key to the club to facilitate these events taking place. It was agreed at the meeting that the key would not be used by the general club membership and it was on that basis that a key was issued to us. To make the key generally available to the membership would contravene the agreement that was reached and could expose the club to claims in the event there was a flooding incident where we were identified as responsible and would almost certainly result in the withdrawal of the key and the loss of our events.

It should be recognised that we are in a privileged position here as we are unaware of any other organisation that can open a flood gate in the Environment Agencies lock down period. Please respect this position.

James Stevenson has studied the 2024 tide times and makes us aware of 9 events where there is potential flooding and during this time the gate will be locked by the Pub at the direction of the EA. Members should consult the sailing calendar for the dates that we are aware of but be aware these are for guidance only and that the gate may be locked at other times. For the avoidance of doubt whenever the gates are locked shut members should not attempt to open the gate! 2024 dates when there is likelihood of flooding and when the flood gate will be locked include:

  • 12th to 16/01/24 highest tides are 4.75, 4.88, 4.92, 4.87 and 4.71M
  • 10th to 14/02/24 highest tides are 4.81, 5.00, 4.74, 5.08, 4.73, 5.01 and 4.82M
  • 10th to 14/03/24 highest tides are 4.87, 4.72, 5.05, 4.83, 5.09, 4.82, 4.98, 4.70 and 4.74M
  • 8th to 11/04/24 highest tides are 4.83, 4.71, 4.94, 4.79, 4.92, 4.78 and 4.78M
  • 23rd to 25/07/24 highest tides are 4.78, 4.79 and 4.71
  • 20th to 23/08/24 highest tides are 4.88, 5.01, 4.71, 5.01 and 4.87
  • 17th to 21/09/24 highest tides are 4.84, 4.71, 5.05, 4.85, 5.13, 4.88, 5.07, 4.80 and 4.87M
  • 16th to 20/10/24 highest tides are 4.89, 4.80, 5.05, 4.92, 5.07, 4.96, 4.85 and 4.74M
  • 14th to 18/11/24 highest tides are 4.75, 4.72, 4.84, 4.83, 4.82, 4.85, 4.72 and 4.79M

The gate will be reopened when the flood threat has passed.

The following photos illustrate some historic flood events


1312587 1600x

Last updated 16:11 on 29 February 2024

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