Letter: Effect on flooding to be considered

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REGARDING development north of Horsham and West Sussex north of the South Downs, before any more development planning is considered an in-depth study needs to be taken on the effect on flooding and flood defences down the river in the catchments on both the Adur, and the Arun, for there is no point building thousands of new homes if it means wiping out thousands of homes down river.

All the flood water north of the South Downs in West Sussex has got to pass through Bramber bridge or the Arun bridge. In fact anywhere in the catchments protected by flood banks or under 5m is under threat from sudden flooding without any warning.

Places under threat are Shoreham Beach, Shoreham airport, South Lancing, parts of Worthing, Bramber, Upper Beeding, Henfield and Partridge Green. On the Adur, Warnham pond, Red River area of Horsham, Pulborough, Littlehampton, Ford, Yapton - to name a few on the river Arun.

Development is a major cause of flooding because every square metre of tile, Tarmac and concrete prevents the rainfall entering the soil and causes impervious run-off of which there are two types; one is run-off the hard ground, the other is piped run-off from domestic waste water, which accounts for seven-eighths of the summer flows.

The standard of management of flood defences is so poor that a breach is likely at any time under load from flood water or a tidal surge.

I think all the Members of Parliament in West Sussex should meet and set a policy on development taking into account the lives at risk by lack of river maintenance and development and take the responsibility for the uninsured losses if planning grants permission to build thousands of new homes we don’t need.

I spent 30 years of my working life working hands-on and managing flood defences and dealt with many floods such as Chichester, Ferring, etc.

F. PRESTON

Furners Mead, Henfield