Easebourne flood plan is under way

Flooding outside the White Horse pub, Easebourne Street PICTURE COURTESY OF TONY YOUNG
Flooding outside the White Horse pub, Easebourne Street PICTURE COURTESY OF TONY YOUNG

SPECIALISTS have been called in to draw up a long-term action plan for dealing with surface-water flooding in Easebourne.

Villagers have suffered increasing problems over the past ten years during heavy rainfall.

Surface water gushing 
off the fields above Easebourne pours down roads, driveways and footpaths, leaving them covered in silt, slippery mud and debris.

It has also cascaded on to North Mill bridge several times in the past two years, making it impassable except for 4x4s.

In December 2012, after counting the cost of horrendous flooding, villagers called a meeting to try to resolve their recurring nightmare.

The parish council met several agencies, including the county council and the Environment Agency in a bid to solve the problems.

Several flood prevention measures were carried out last year, but now West Sussex County Council has called in a specialist firm to draw up a surface water management plan (SWMP) for the village.

It is one of five flood plans being drawn up for communities in West Sussex.

CH2M Hill is also working on plans for Chichester, Lancing, Lavant Valley and the Manhood Peninsula.

The company says it will be: “Working with stakeholders and partners to understand the causes and effects of surface water flooding.

“Collecting and analysing data and using computer models to better understand the flow of water within an area.”

It will produce a written report which explains all the issues and outlines a long-term action plan for dealing with surface water flooding.

In Easebourne the problem centres on surface water flowing down the steep fields during heavy rain, dragging large quantities of sediment on to the A286 and A272.

Clearing the sediment from the road surfaces and highway gullies to re-open the roads is a major task every time flooding occurs.

Householders are also left counting the cost of gardens which are left looking like beaches.

“The study aims to identify ways to reduce the amount of sediment being transported from the fields by surface water and, as part of this, reduce the amount of water flowing down the roads,” said CH2M Hill and the county council in the first of a series of joint newsletters.

“Analysis will be undertaken to help understand in more detail the amount of water and the way it flows. This will help us look at possible ways to address the problem.

“The main stakeholder is the Cowdray Estate, which is the landowner, along with the parish council.”

The analysis work is expected to be completed by the end of August. The action plans will be used to help guide and programme works and other measures to alleviate flooding.

The information could also be useful for developers and the planning authority in relation to planning applications for new development.