LETTER: Planners warned of flood hazards

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According to Environment Agency figures, in all, around 5.2 million properties in England, or one in six properties, are at risk of flooding.

More than five million people live and work in 2.4 million properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, one million of which are also at risk of surface water flooding. A further 2.8 million properties are susceptible to surface water flooding alone.

Billingshurst has 500 properties at risk from surface water flooding and only 25 at risk from river flooding (WSCC).

Photographs have appeared in the newspapers of land under floodwater including many areas of Horsham. The past weeks have seen many parts of Billingshurst flood including shops in the High Street, something that Horsham’s councillors have been warned constantly of at planning hearings when they have considered planning applications, large scale and small.

No new development should cause flooding to any existing property however that is what we are seeing now.

Horsham District Council has requested us to let it know about roads, homes and property that flooded in the recent bad weather.

I am asking for basic information on flooding that occurred in Billingshurst parish (including Adversane and Five Oaks) that I can collate and pass on to HDC.

I have already received notice of a number of areas that have flooded in the past weeks including people’s homes, gardens, roads, overflowing ditches etc but would like to hear from any and all Billingshurst residents who know where the flooding occurred in the parish.

There is no need to go into any private details just a house number and postcode and whether flooding was to property, land / garden or roads as a result of insufficient or blocked road drains, watercourses or saturated ground.

To be told by a 90-plus-year-old that she is not sleeping, does not feel safe in her home and will be glad to leave Billingshurst because of the fear of flooding is acutely distressing and disturbing in 2014.

Once the water recedes and the sun comes out, we forget if it did not affect us but with the supposed change in climate we are told that this ‘exceptional’ weather will be seen more often and more development will not alleviate the problem.

If you can take the time to let me know of areas in the parish where flooding was experienced; my email address is roy.wilding@virgin.net; my address is 26 Carpenters, RH14 9RB, if it is easier to drop a note through my letterbox.

I may not be able to acknowledge every email or note but I will record everything and pass it on.

LESLEY WILDING

Carpenters, Billingshurst