Meeting will consider the flooding in Shripney

A MEETING has been arranged next month about flooding in Shripney.

MP Nick Gibb will chair the session in March between authorities such West Sussex and Bersted councils, the Environment Agency and Southern Water.

County councillor Simon McDougall said the area was becoming cut off by excess water on the A29 Shripney Road too often.

He has called on the county council to follow the private meeting with a public one to tell fed-up residents of Shripney what action it intended to take to tackle the problem.

He was concerned about the ‘lack of urgency’ being shown by the county council.

“Shripney becomes an island – no way in and no way out – far too frequently.

“This misery must end soon to make the quality of life for local residents the priority.

“It’s time the county council stopped paying lip service on this matter and started to put solid plans in place.

“I have emailed the council to request they hold a public meeting to keep residents informed on progress, and to explain future plans for the hamlet.

“On far too many occasions, this strategic route into Bognor Regis has been plagued by flooding.

“It’s no wonder many investors are put off coming to our town. Arun District Council has rightly put jobs before houses as the central plank of their draft local plan.

“A lot of the fields in the Shripney area are potentially earmarked for employment land, most of which is prone to flooding.

“We have got to get the flooding sorted out that already exists in Shripney before adding more pressure to the local area.”

As reported, closures of the A29 have accompanied the seemingly more frequent heavy downpours which have become a feature of the weather in recent years.

Shripney was highlighted by a county council report in December as one of nine flooding hotspots which needed urgent action following last summer’s torrential conditions.

A further closure of the road occurred soon after the report was published.

“The A29 was closed to traffic for 15 days over Christmas, causing misery and suffering to local residents and motorists alike,” said Cllr McDougall.

The county council worked to get the road reopened and carried out essential work to try to solve some of the problems.

But last week’s rain, falling on saturated ground, caused the road to flood again.

The hazardous conditions were highlighted about 4pm last Thursday when a large lorry stalled while it was being driven through the flood waters to block the southern carriageway.

Residents watched in horror as car and lorry drivers carried on regardless of the obstruction and the excess water.

Spray thrown up by the lorries is drenching cars and, residents claim, damaging their walls and fences.