Site targeted for major housing scheme floods for second time in a week

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

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An area targeted by developers for a new major housing scheme flooded for the second time in four days.

The river Adur burst its banks near Twineham again this afternoon (Thursday January 7) leaving roads and fields submerged in water.

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

The area, which flooded on Sunday (January 3) due to heavy rain, has been targeted by developers Mayfield Market Towns as a location to build a new 10,000 home market town.

Jane Watson has provided these pictures of flooding at Herrings bridge.

She said: “It is not as bad as last time but it is still quite bad.

“It happens every winter and it is quite dramatic.”

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service records, sent in by Jane, show 14 cases since mid 2012 in which the fire service has been called to flooding in or around Twineham.

Objectors to proposals for 99 new homes near the Fox and Hounds pub, south of Haywards Heath, have already protested to Mid Sussex District Council, warning that the site is prone to flooding.

And this week, residents living near the site at Gamblemead, Fox Hill, in a further letter to the council said: we told you so.

Adrian Warwick, who lives near the Fox Hill site, said that concern was mounting about the proposed development.

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

He has forwarded photographs of the flooded field to the council and said: “What it proves conclusively is that the whole area can be flooded very, very quickly indeed and that this will only become more of an issue as the months and years unwind.”

He said Sunday’s rainfall had also caused road flooding in the area which lasted for some hours.

Residents’ objections to the plan for the new houses also include poor road access, damage to wildlife and insufficient infrastructure to cope with extra homes.

Adrian said: “It is in a totally inappropriate setting. We’re not against housing as such but the way this is being done is absurd.”

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

Flooding in Twineham on Thursday January 7. Photo by Jane Watson

Meanwhile, Mid Sussex District Council has already assured residents that flood risk and infrastructure, and the impact on the local environment will be taken into account when the council’s planning committee considers the proposals.

A statement from Mayfield said: “There are many reasons why land can flood - some areas on farmland become trampled down to hardened clay which causes ponds to form, or land may be in the floodplain, which is designed to flood and is where we wouldn’t build. In any event, when Mayfields is planned in detail the area will be totally re-engineered to withstand up to for a 1 in 1000 year flooding event (most developers only allow for 1 in 200 year flooding events).

“Furthermore, following the Horsham Local Plan Examination, the independent Government Inspector concluded that the land where Mayfields is proposing to develop ‘...does not fall within any environmental designation and there is no evidence that any protected wildlife habitats need be affected. Despite the anecdotal evidence of local residents, there appears to be no concern from the Environment Agency that surface water flooding could not be managed through a Sustainable Drainage System. No other overriding physical constraints have been raised’.

“There remains a chronic housing shortage in the West Sussex area, and we remain committed to delivering a high quality new settlement with a significant proportion of affordable homes for people who need them.”

Have you been affected by flooding today? Send your pictures and videos to ct.news@jpress.co.uk

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