All suffer badly with flooding

Eastergate, Westergate and Barnham all suffer badly with flooding.

The land is very flat and there is almost no fall between these villages and the coast.

Water simply sits on the land or roads and only drains away very slowly.

The water table is very high.

Rainwater is stored in aquifers in the downs, but the excess always flows south towards the sea via streams and rifes and underground in shifting sand strata (known as green sand).

This underground flow has been altered by the gravel extraction around Chichester.

The gravel pits, which are full of water, actually divert the ground water towards Eastergate, Westergate and Barnham.

This increases as the water flow grows, so lifting the water table east of the gravel pits.

New development at Oving, Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate will add to the problem by providing increased catchment areas of roofs, roads and other hard standings, while by reducing agricultural land, field percolation will also be reduced.

The rifes are inadequate and clearly do not have the capacity to cope at certain times.

The result is overloaded drainage, floods and overwhelmed sewage plants.

The Fontwell Avenue pumping station could not control the capacity of the extra water flow in 2000 and it was left ‘open’ to run into the villages via the A29 and the stream that crosses near Elm Tree Stores.

In the floods of 2000 three of the four routes into Westergate were impassable.

In 2012/3 the A29 was closed at Shripney – again.

Wandleys Lane in Eastergate has been closed for around six weeks by flooding.

The hill created by the landfill at Lidsey is capped with clay to contain toxins etc and thereby to stop them leaching into the topsoil.

If this works as intended it also means that rainwater cannot penetrate the clay from the outside either, so instead of normal field percolation, rainwater will instead run off the hill.

With the hill covering a substantial acreage, water will run off at speed in all directions and will substantially increase the risk of flooding in any new development nearby and also downstream at Bersted and Felpham.

And Arun’s councillors listen, but they do not hear!

Tony Dixon

Barons Close