Fear that new homes heighten risk of flooding

Flooding'South Road, Hailsham SUS-150801-154242001
Flooding'South Road, Hailsham SUS-150801-154242001
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Some residents in Hailsham say they are concerned the scale of housing being built in the area has resulted in flooding after recent downpours left roads underwater.

Katherine Thompson, who lives in South Road, Hailsham, said cars were getting stuck in her road after torrential rain caused flooding on January 8.

She said about 80 houses are currently being built nearby and feared flooding is being caused in the town’s streets because of over-development.

She said, “It is just going to get worse. They are building so many homes and the town can not cope. I just don’t know why the homes have been allocated when they knew this [flooding] was going to happen.

“The flood water is all of the way up to my front door. I am worried it will get into my house. Something has to be done about this.”

Katherine, who spoke of her fears outside her home when torrential rain struck the county, causing flooding in several towns and villages, said she even had to call an ambulance for one driver.

She said, “I have been helping push cars which have got stuck in the water. We are all cold and wet. It is horrible.

“One driver got stuck in the water and I had to call an ambulance for him.

“The fire brigade are here pumping out the water but cars are going past and it means the water is still coming up to my door. I asked for sandbags from the council but they said it should be drying.”

But a spokesman for Wealden District Council said all new development has been carefully planned and take into account the risk of flooding for surrounding areas.

The spokesman said, “The council is well aware of the risk posed by the possibility of flooding in parts of the district and that is why all the new development carefully takes into account the risk posed by increased run off. Through the planning process, we endeavour to make sure measures are in place so that flooding does not occur.

“In many cases it has led to improvements to the infrastructure. This will be important as extreme weather events become more frequent as a result of climate change. As ever the key issue is one of maintenance of existing drains.

“The council has been working in partnership with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and volunteers organised by 3VA to target residents in areas which are known to flood. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of householders’ own responsibilities and measures to take to protect themselves and their property.”