Housing development at Rookwood ‘would not increase flood risk elsewhere’

Housing development at Rookwood would be at low risk of flooding and will not increase flood risk elsewhere, according to consultants employed by Horsham District Council.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 10:31 am

Around 700 homes are currently being proposed on the part of the golf course site south of Warnham Road in the latest iteration of the plan alongside the expansion of Warnham Local Nature Reserve and no development on the area between Boldings Brook and Red River wildlife corridor.

HDC is promoting the site as part of its own local plan review, but the plans have faced significant opposition in the town. Earlier this month, all three of Horsham’s neighbourhood councils banding together to call for development proposals at Rookwood to be withdrawn.

This week, HDC says it has focused development in a part of the site where there can be action to mitigate a current risk of flooding.

An illustrative visual of proposed development at Rookwood looking south from the Warnham Road

Specialist consultants Stantec has recommended the introduction of swales or ditches to facilitate water run-off and slow the flow of any rainwater so no increased burden is placed on the existing drainage infrastructure and also dealing with the existing risk.

The creation of holding ponds as well as the inclusion of green roofs and permeable paving would also be part of the development’s design.

Commenting on the flood mitigation work, Paul Jenkin, director of water management at Stantec, said: “The proposals put forward at Rookwood are unusual in that not only can we place all of any potentially vulnerable development in the area of lowest risk of flooding, but there are also great opportunities to deliver an exemplar sustainable drainage system which could meet and exceed policy requirements.

“I can say with confidence that based on the available data the proposed development will be at low risk of flooding and will not increase flood risk elsewhere.”

For more information on the development plans visit www.rookwoodhorsham.co.uk