Chalfont St Giles Parish Council has pulled out of 2024 Best Kept Village Competition over recent flooding and sewage which has inundated the area.

The council said its decision to withdraw from the race was ‘very difficult and sad’ but had to be taken after areas which usually attracted high marks from the judges were inaccessible.

In a statement it said: “The situation with flooding and serious pollution in the meadows and in the River Misbourne has resulted in Riverside Walk and the play area being closed off to the public amid health concerns.

“The high levels of groundwater have also unseated the new pond liner in the village pond which has also been closed off to the public for safety reasons.”

The council added that its withdrawal from the competition would be ‘hugely disappointing to many residents’, especially those that had contributed to improving the village.

Its statement said: “Councillors and grounds staff are also very disappointed. We are hopeful that the conditions around the village centre will have dissipated by 2025 when we will come back to challenge the 2024 winners for the cup.”

Chalfont St Giles won the Pushman Cup – for a rural population over 3,000 – in the competition last year.

The Environment Agency said in February of this year that there had been a Category 1 incident in the village.

The parish council said this was due to Thames Water releasing sewage into the River Misbourne at the Amersham Road depot.

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