A businessman whose office narrowly escaped flooding has called on developers to make sure future buildings in the area are flood-proof.

The office of CIB Communications, near the River Mole in Leatherhead, was specially built to withstand water up to the level of the great floods in 1968.

It escaped the Christmas Eve flooding by just three inches.

Managing director Andy Cassie, at his office off Guildford Road, said other developers should follow suit and take previous flood and river levels into account.

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Mr Cassie said: "If they are going to build anything they must take into consideration the highest known level of flooding and anything they build should have additional tolerance."

The office was built on a concrete plinth and electrics were originally put at half height above floor level.

Some electrics have since been placed in the concrete subfloor, which acts as a base to the finished floor.

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Mr Cassie said flood protection is especially important when developing on flood plains, which may increasingly be inundated because of proposed changes to the greenbelt boundary.

He said: "If you're putting any development anywhere near river courses then you have to be sensible about how you build and what plans are in place."

He said that the company had taken out flood insurance, adding: "If you take precautions, a lot of these problems are surmountable.

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Photo: Jay Thomson, senior designer, CIB Comms

"This is such a beautiful place to work but this will happen and it will continue to happen. It has always happened."

Mr Cassie waded through the floods in Leatherhead on the morning of Christmas Eve. He said: "It was flowing really quickly by that stage.

"You start to understand the danger of anyone walking through flood water. It takes you away quicker than you ever want to imagine."

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Photos: Jay Thomson, senior designer, CIB Comms