Cash surge to protect Littlehampton from flooding

Councillor Ian Buckland, front, hands over cash to flood action groups 'dm1508655a
Councillor Ian Buckland, front, hands over cash to flood action groups 'dm1508655a

A GRANT of £29,560 from the county council is helping two action groups in Littlehampton in their quest to defend the town from flooding.

As part of West Sussex County Council’s Operation Watershed funding, both the Littlehampton Flood Action Group and the newly set -up West Bank Flood Action Group have received a share of the cash.

The money will be used to help residents and businesses that have been blighted by flooding in Rope Walk, River Road and South Terrace.

The majority – more than £17,000 – was given to the Littlehampton Flood Action Group who will use it to expand their borehole project to study the ground water levels at known flooding hot spots across the town.

The group’s chairman, Janet Crosley, welcomed the support. She said: “The river has now been supported with its new defences but there are still problems with runoff rain water in some areas.

“There’s also a major problem with unpredictable ground water levels, rising up and appearing, damaging homes and businesses.”

She explained the cash would fuel an expansion of the group’s current project which has seen three small boreholes drilled at strategic locations in the town.

The ambition is to create three new holes and conduct a geological survey to give them a greater insight of the flood risks under the town.

The findings of the study will hopeful benefit residents in danger of being flooded.

Likewise, a further £1,650 has been given to the newly-formed West Bank Flood Action Group.

Group chairman Simon Gibson said the money was a good start: “All cash is welcome but it really is a drop in the ocean – £1,600 is nothing compared to the East Bank’s scheme.

“But it’s a start and we’re now able to move on and formalise our objectives.”

The aim is to use the cash to bolster the West Bank’s river defences, protecting the community in Rope Walk from tidal surge flooding.

He added: “We who live here know we’re at risk of flooding and as the water table rises we know that we’re at even greater risk.”

Littlehampton county councillor Ian Buckland helped arrange the grants. He said: “Operation Watershed is an excellent example of how the county council is helping communities to help themselves.”

The remaining cash has been provided to shore up defences at a private property in River Road.