LETTER: Concerns about risk of flooding

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I’ve been doing my best to keep up with the arguments for and against the proposed new North of Horsham development. One thing that bothers me particularly is the threat of flooding posed by massive new development in that area.

Anyone who uses the A264 between Great Daux Roundabout and Moorhead Roundabout will have noticed that after a period of sustained rain, the fields where the development would take place are flooded.

I had a look at the Environment Agency’s website and by clicking on the RH12 post code area of their flood risk map I can see that there is already ‘significant likelihood of flooding’ in that area.

I am very concerned that by building on the fields where rainfall currently has the chance to soak away gradually into the ground, there will be a far higher risk of flooding because the water will not be able to drain away naturally.

Not only that, but the problem could be compounded, because the water would have to run off somewhere and it could end up flooding the built-up area of North Horsham on the other side of the A264.

Not only would flooding be a real threat to existing householders in that area, but house insurance premiums would increase considerably when insurers find that there is an even higher risk of flooding.

The Horsham District Planning Framework Draft Policy 37 states: “Where technically feasible, all developments will be expected to incorporate water management measures which reduce the risk of flooding and ensure flood risk is not increased elsewhere. This should include the use of sustainable drainage systems.”

That sounds quite encouraging, doesn’t it? But I’m not so sure about that when I think of the flooding already experienced in other parts of the district (eg Southwater) which can be attributed to the concreting over of green fields.

Can we rely on HDC to ensure that the significant likelihood of flooding in the North Horsham area is not increased?

The jury’s out on that one, but personally I have very grave doubts and I shall add increased risk of flooding to the list of reasons why I object to this development.

Sheila White

Dorking Road, Warnham