Chichester District Council flood strategy

Midhurst fire crew tow the stranded car from the Pitsham Wood flood.   C120788-1 Photo Louise Adams
Midhurst fire crew tow the stranded car from the Pitsham Wood flood. C120788-1 Photo Louise Adams

A NEW strategy to cope with future floods has been welcomed.

Chichester District Council’s cabinet, approved its response to the county council’s new local flood risk management strategy on Tuesday, saying the June and Christmas floods of 2012 had opened people’s eyes to future flooding risks.

.“For once I have got something nice to say about West Sussex County Council,” said Cllr John Connor, cabinet member for the environment, who presented the district council’s response.

The report deals primarily with surface water flooding, of which it is estimated 4,200 properties in the Chichester district are at risk.

David Lowsley, senior engineer at CDC also presented the report.

He spoke of the importance of landowners and householders now taking responsibility for their culverts and ditches.

“Dare I say it, the flooding last summer helped in that respect,” he said.

“People are now aware of the topic and we get a lot of questions on it.

“County have done a super job.

They have shown an enthusiasm to take on land drainage issues.”

The cabinet spoke of the importance of individuals being aware of the risks of flooding and taking steps to minimise the risk for their areas.

“Lots of little improvements can make a massive difference to the overall picture,” he added.

The public have until Monday to give feedback on the county council’s strategy.

The strategy will guide engineers on how to prioritise where money should be invested to minimise flood risks for communities.

The strategy hopes to provide a long-term solution alongside Operation Watershed – which saw communities bid for funds from an £8.25m pot set aside by the county council to protect against flooding.

To read the strategy visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/floodconsultation.

To comment, email joss.carter@westsussex.gov.uk or write to: Mr J.P. Carter, West Sussex County Council, Drayton Depot, Drayton, Oving, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 2AJ