RADICAL proposals to rid Purley of its flooding problem have failed to win funding.
Architect Tarsem Flora, who also chairs the Purley and District Residents' Association, drew up a proposal to pump water from outside the trouble spot at Tesco, up the top of the hill between the town and Croydon Airport, and create lakes on the existing marsh land.
Croydon Council then applied for a £250,000 grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which would have paid for a feasibility study.
According to Mr Flora, not only would the pump ensure that residents would never find themselves canoeing to their local shop, it would also open up a site for water recreation, cafes and restaurants on the metropolitan land where the lakes would sit 54 metres above the town.
Defra announced that £5 million would be split between 20 community groups in the UK who submitted the best plans to solve their local flooding problems.
The money would then be used to pay for a feasibility study before the Government agreed to fund the changes.
"This is the most innovative plan anyone has seen for more than 70 years," said Mr Flora.
His plan took 18 months to draw up and included the Purley Business Community, residents, flood wardens, representatives from the Environmental Agency, the Greater London Authority, Thames Water, the council and the police.
A council spokesman said: "Unfortunately, our bid to conduct a feasibility study mapping the flood patterns in the area was unsuccessful on this occasion, but we were encouraged by Defra to make bids in future funding rounds."