‘We want to be safe from flooding’ - Bersted residents

We want you to tell residents that they are safe from flooding, not that we should be safe, said Bersted councillors.

At a meeting of Bersted planning committee councillors and members of the public voiced concerns to a guest speaker from the Environment Agency.

During the meeting concerns of the likelihood of flooding aggravated by added housing numbers were raised.

Cllr Patrick Hastings said: “For 30 years we have had this problem of flooding, and it has been our main thrust of argument against site six.”

Members of the public raised a number of concerns which included flooding of the fields north of Rowan Way, the flooding of the A259 Chichester Road, as well as fears that if there was a repeat of the heavy rainfall seen last November the drainage system would again be unable to cope.

Chairman of the committee John Potter said: “I remember when I was seven years old scrambling across the Chichester Road because of flooding trying to get to school, and that was 77 years ago, and we are still having the same problems.

“In those days you could ring the man at the Felpham station and he would send someone over straightaway on a bike to fix the problem, the only difference now is you ring someone and you could be waiting three days.”

“Somehow, we have to get through to these people that what they are doing is destroying our neighbourhood.

Phillip Hayley from the Environment Agency said: “We need the community to bring pressure, if you see any flooding then report it to us and take pictures of it.

“As an agency we are responsible for protecting and improving the environment as well as protecting the environment from pollution, and we have responsibility for protecting communities from the risk of flooding and managing water resources, as well as some responsibilities for costal defences.”