I totally support all Hugh Coster says in his letter last week on Arun District Council’s approach to flooding in the Greater Bognor Regis area.
For Cllr Bower, Arun’s planning supremo, to tell us the Site 6 development drains worked during the June 11 rainstorm, and that all other residents need to do is to find out if their property included a filled-in ditch (probably by the developer), then dig it out, is an insult to the 250 residents, the Laburnum School and other businesses who suffered as a result of what is going to be a much more common event in the future.
People who know the way drainage works in this part
of the coastal plain are well aware that all rainfall that does not permeate the ground will flow through the rifes to the sea at Felpham. These rifes are also fed from springs arising to the north of us.
More development on greenfields to the north of Bognor will inevitably mean more flooding events to the south, particularly as climate change is causing these to be more severe and frequent.
Cllr Bower’s approach shows the district council will again ignore flooding when it comes to new site selection for housing, relying on the promises from developers that sustainable under drainage systems (SUDS) and balancing ponds will head off the problem, but we have now seen it does not.
People told me the ponds at Site 6 were full, almost about to overflow on June 11.
Why were the Royal Oak (pink pub) and the Laburnum School, both in Bersted, flooded ?
The new Arun Local Plan proposes a huge new development of 2,230 houses and another road alongside the A29, close to the Lidsey landfill which borders Aldingbourne Rife.Eastergate and Lidsey Rife are close enough to be affected, as is the Lidsey Sewage works.
Hundreds of new houses are also planned for Barnham which has severe flooding and sewage disposal problems. The Barnham Rife frequently floods land to the south near Flansham. One wonders what affect the new Bognor relief road will have.
There are now flooding groups in West Felpham and Shripney, and support from Bognor Regis Civic Society.
It is time to tell Arun’s councillors we have had enough of this. We ask them to question their Draft Local Plan and to challenge the government over housing figures for a district that has so many constraints and such a small land area to absorb such large developments.
Villages Action Group for Barnham, Eastergate, Westergate and Aldingbourne