Flooding fears heaped onto flats controversy

An artists impression of the Fitzalan Road development
An artists impression of the Fitzalan Road development

Flooding fears have been raised over the proposals for 50 new flats in Arundel.

Controversial plans for construction in Fitzalan Road have caused concern among many Arundel residents.

Retirement property specialist Renaissance Homes is seeking permission to build up to 50 sheltered apartments for the eldery.

In order to make room for the three-storey property, a Victorian-age industrial site would be torn down, along with the house next door.

Hotel housekeeper Helen Watling, 55, a resident of Fitzalan Road, has raised a range of concerns about the possible development in a recent letter to the Gazette. including that the flats would be built on a floodplain.

“When I moved it was a quiet residential road,” she said, adding it is now used as a ‘convenience for everybody’.

Her house has been beset by plumbing issues over the years, including blocked toilets and flooded drains. Her mother, who lives in the same road, said she has had her garden flooded with sewage more than once.

”More and more keeps being added to the system without the underlying problems being addressed.

”There is already two lots of high flats been converted into properties for the elderly on that corner,” she added, questioning the need for the new apartments.

“I just think it is going to cause more and more congestion. If we are going to get another 50 flats where is everybody going to park?”

Peter Tanner, planning director at Renaissance Retirement, said the drainage authority would be scrutinising the plans.

“Our initial research has not revealed any deficiencies with existing utility services. That is not to say other properties [are] not experiencing localised drainage issues,” he said.

“We will ensure our proposal does not exacerbate that situation.

“With regard to flood risk, the area was the subject of a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment as part of the Neighbourhood Plan.

“This identified the existing and proposed flood defences are such that the additional housing proposed can take place without risk of flooding subject to a minimum ground floor level.”

The Environment Agency would not comment on the specific development, as an application has yet to be submitted. However a spokesperson said the site has a ‘high probability of flooding’ from rivers.

“It is a requirement that any planning application submitted for development is accompanied by a Flood Risk Assessment.”