A flood of reasons

IN MY opinion most of the recent flooding in our locality was caused by heavy rain and inadequate drainage provision.

When the line of the A27 from Chichester to Havant was under discussion, local engineers warned of the danger of cutting across the path of the natural drainage in the Hambrook, Southbourne area.

It was made clear that sufficient drainage, north to south, was not being included in the road scheme.

The consequence was the recent closure due to flooding of this national route.

A similar inability to appreciate the natural drainage is the cause of flooding in much of the Chichester area. Flooding in College Lane, at the Northgate roundabout and outside the One Stop Shop in The Broadway, occurs every time we have any significant rain.

It causes inconvenience and damage, and the powers that be seem incapable of solving the recurring problem.

College Lane has flooded at its junction with Spitalfield in my memory for the past 40 years, attempts to alleviate the nuisance have been made, but the problem is again becoming more frequent.

Historically College Lane was the location of a spring and a temporary stream which filled a pond in an area currently used by the tennis club as a car park.

In my view development on the university site has ignored the effect of rapid run off from, recent and ongoing expansion, which feeds water into soak-aways.

The water runs down the slope causing waterlogging and flooding where the slope levels out.

The flooding problem at the Broyle Road, Wellington Road junction has been cleverly solved by moving it down the slope to the Northgate roundabout.

The ongoing housing development in Roussillon Barracks and the proposed construction of a care home on the open grass area in the SW corner of this site will, I’m sure, add considerably to flooding problems along the Broyle in the future.

The extensive flooding at the corner of the Broadway Lane and Highland Road has got worse year by year, and happens more frequently.

The shop has a basement which 40 years ago housed much of the shop’s stock.

Today water permeates the cellar from the surrounding gravel deposits, which is pumped out across the pavement into the road.

The drains fill and the road floods.

I imagine that the drains run into soak-aways which return the water to the cellar, maintaining its own water cycle until the water manages to drain down the slope.

Authorities who give development approval which ignores the unique drainage of a locality should be liable for the resulting costs of inconvenience and damage.

Ray Carter