Further flooding near new Broadbridge Heath development site

Flooding in Old Wickhurst Lane (photo by James Hadden).
Flooding in Old Wickhurst Lane (photo by James Hadden).

Flooding in Broadbridge Heath continues to cause concern among neighbours of the new development south of the village.

Old Wickhurst Lane, which has flooded in recent weeks, is next to the new Wickhurst Green development where 963 homes are planned by Countryside Properties. Groundworks began on the site in early 2012.

In April planning permission was granted for the first 105 homes, with groundworks also being waved through by Horsham District Council despite criticism.

Concerns have been expressed about the consequences of the new development. For instance, Twitter user @MrsDenyer said: “And where do they want to build? Madness!”

However a spokesperson for Countryside Properties said: “We are aware that this is a long term and pre existing condition which has not been caused as a result of the development South of Broadbridge Heath.

“However, as part of the ongoing development works, Countryside Properties will be implementing a surface water drainage scheme to mitigate the impact of development which will include a series of underground storage tanks and attenuation basins in combination with a high quality landscaping scheme.

“This has been agreed with both Horsham District Council and the Environment Agency.”

On the County Times website (www.wscountytimes.co.uk), user Whistling Cleaner added: “Why is it that planners and local authorities cannot see beyond the nose on their face, parts of the planned development have always been and will always be a flood plain.

“The people that move into the new properties will have very high insurance premiums, that is if they can get insurance at all.

“There is a lot of land around Horsham that is in the same situation, but there is a lot more that is safe to build on.

“I can only hope that the drainage systems are built to a standard that can cope with not just the worst case scenario but well above that.

“Whilst on the flood plain problem, I would suggest that the planners think very carefully about the proposed future development to the north of Horsham.”

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “HDC will be scrutinising the proposals for the management of surface water drainage from the Countryside Properties site to ensure compliance with the overarching surface water strategy for the site to ensure that surface water run off from the development does not exceed existing greenfield run off rates.

“Measures to lessen the impact of surface water run off will comprise a mix of sustainable urban drainage solutions, including drainage basins and underground drainage crates.

“The detailed specification for these features will be subject to the approval by Horsham District Council.”

Meanwhile building was halted over the past few months as experts from Archaeology South East excavated and recorded prior groundworks.

Countryside said that the number of archaeological findings had not affected their proposed time-scale for construction.

For more information visit www.wickhurstgreen.com