LETTER: Rethink building on our flood plain

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Further to my letter to the County Times a couple of weeks ago, I have been looking into some environmental issues pertaining to the proposed building on the green fields of North Horsham. Looking at the Environment Agency website it is apparent that the eastern section of the site (East of the Rusper road) sits partly in a flood plain!

I have copied the Environment Agency map and combined it with Horsham council’s map and the Ordance survey map to show the extent of the flood plain.

This fact alone should cause a rethink of this scheme. Any building on this land would not only adversely affect future householders and their access to property insurance, but could cause worsening flooding scenarios for all the existing properties that lie along Chennells Brook to the south of the A264.

Also, Chennells Brook is not classified under the Water Framework Directive, but the stream it flows into is. The current ecological status of the river has been classified as “good” which is what all water bodies must be by 2027 although there are three stages to this directive, with two important points as far as this is concerned:

1) As many water bodies as possible must be at Good Ecological Status by 2015, with those having more complex issues good by 2021 and 2027 as a final 100 per cent MUST be achieved.

2) There is a ‘no deterioration’ clause meaning that it is against the Act and therefore the law to allow water bodies to deteriorate in their status (and this proposed development puts this stream at risk of deteriorating).

In addition there is this document - http://a0768b4a8a31e106d8b0-50dc802554eb38a24458b98ff72d550b.r19.cf3.rackcdn.com/geso0910bstc-e-e.pdf.

The section relevant to this stream is on page 168 (Annex B). It is the bit under ‘supporting elements’. It shows that the water quality flowing along this stretch is high. This is likely to be impacted by increased traffic, road run off, the development itself and the whole stretch is protected under the nitrates directive (1991) which is more about agricultural run off but.... This annex B also summarises the Arun catchment in terms of its overall condition and states that only six of the 57 water bodies are currently good (this being one of them).

Time to think again HDC!

Roger Baker

New Moorhead Drive, Horsham