Concrete spells flood

IN 1960, when I was 15 years old, my parents and I moved to Nyetimber in the parish of Pagham, which then came under the authority of Chichester Rural District Council.

At that time there were green fields separating Nyetimber from Pagham and also from Rose Green which came under the authority of Bognor Urban District Council.

In the following years, Nyetimber and Pagham were transferred to Bognor Urban District Council due to boundary changes, and then later still, to Arun District Council.

During this time I have seen the building of the Kings Beach Estate and many other small estates, such that all of the green field sites in and around these three villages have been covered in concrete.

I remember that for some years during the building of the Windmill Park Estate in Rose Green, heavy or persistent rain would cause flooding in Hewarts Lane by the Aldwick British Legion.

After this Rose Green shops at the junction of Rose Green Road, Grosvenor Gardens and Nyetimber Lane were under three feet of water, which also virtually covered Avisford Park playing fields.

It was plainly obvious from the flooding that the builders had filled in the land drainage ditches. These ditches were put there for a purpose by people who understood the land, and were initially dug by the owners or their farm labourers, who certainly did not do it for fun.

This was also the case for the Kings Beach and later smaller estates that have been built in Nyetimber and Pagham. I can point out very many instances, where major and minor drainage ditches have been blocked up, filled in or built over with no culvert. Let us now consider the main drainage system in Pagham Road as it runs through Nyetimber village, which for many years has been subject to certain parts of it flooding.

Examples are the entrance to Mill Farm Caravan Site (now residential), the junctions with Nyetimber Lane and Brooks End (the additional run off from this recent development) and also Church Way.

The floods on June 11 were nothing new, but due to the huge amount of rain, they covered a much larger area, and were much deeper, which caused considerably more damage. It was obvious that the main drain through the village was overwhelmed and requires upgrading.

Years ago before Pagham Road was upgraded, the surface water from ran off into the ditch, running along its western side. This ditch is now neglected, overgrown and carries little water.

The flooding in Pagham Road south of the Junction with Church Way was caused by the run-off from Church Way itself, and both St Ninians Church and Pagham Village Hall car parks.

There are drains all along the eastern side of Pagham Road which are allegedly connected to the main drainage system, those in the flooded area were not working.

In 1960 there were only some 500 residents in the parish and since then it must have risen to at least 8,000, yet apart from the replacement of the pumps the sewage system has, to my knowledge, not been updated to cope with this massive increase in the population.

On June 11 the main sewer through the village had backed up such that effluent was escaping from holes in the manhole covers, and was a serious hazard to health. The sewage system for Nyetimber and Pagham seriously and urgently needs to be upgraded.

Arun District Council demands its council tax and Southern Water demands its water bills. It’s about time that the residents of Nyetimber and Pagham saw a return on their money.

Ted Brodie

Pagham Road,

Nyetimber