LETTER: Natural drainage interfered with

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There were some thought provoking letters in last week’s edition about flooding. The Government, local authorities and developers have been trying for several years to agree rules that will apply to new housing developments which are now being approved by government inspectors, very often against local wishes.

The issue is how to reduce surface run-off from the increasing spread of non-porous surfaces and who pays for the maintenance of any ‘systems’. The 2010 Flood Act obliges developers to mitigate surface run-off into over-stretched drains.

Developers don’t want to install ponds and grassy hollows to capture water off roofs as they say it will reduce land available for building and put up new house prices. They would rather build large underground tanks which opponents say will be too difficult to maintain.

There seems to be agreement now that whatever the systems introduced to catch run-off, the householder will pay for maintenance.

However, whatever systems developers introduce, residents may well be concerned that the natural drainage of the Arun catchment is being interfered with for financial gain.

Over 11,000-plus houses throughout the district with 3,000-plus of them in North Horsham along with 5,00000 sq ft of commercial/business park, car park space for 600, two schools, supermarket, railway station – lots of hard surfaces replacing green land and rapid run-off into a river and drainage system that we have seen through your pages can’t cope at present.

I suppose the question is do we trust the developers?

DAVID CLARK

Sprucefield, Old Holbrook, Horsham