Friday, 24 May 2013

Lower Arun Flooding

River Arun at Arundel

I have attended a number of presentations recently by Derek Waller of Arundel who advises Arundel Town Council on a number of local issues. 

The government has recently changed the policy regarding flooding protection, before it was a hap hazard system of paying most of the money for flood defences for  the most needy areas, Littlehampton being a clear case of this policy where the Environment Agency is paying £12m towards flood defences and Arun is paying £1m.

The policy is now changed, where as the government via the Environment agency will pay only up to a third of the costs and the balance should be raised locally.  This is good and bad, the government is making the existing budget go further, and it’s good that local communities can initiate schemes and rely on money from the EA, but it’s bad that funds will have to be raised locally to fund the balance.

At the Arundel town meeting this was all explained, the money required for Arundel’s flood defences over the next 50 years is £23m, (£10m for the next 10 years), from other schemes that are going forward in the District (like Pagham), the Parish or in our case Arundel Town Council will have to find 10% of the funding, that’s £2.3m over the next 50 years (or £1m over next 10 years). 

The balance will have to be found from West Sussex County Council and the District.
If that funding is not found, then Arundel will experience flooding in 20 years or more, so the community has a choice, I believe that a fund should be started and funded from the precept, I believe £30,000 per year should be put aside to at least fund some of the future needs, this would be prudent and would  cost households approximately 50p per week per household.  I believe this would be a good investment and place us in a good position to initiate the changes that are needed.

I have received a letter from Tony Dixon regarding Horticultural Hubs, Tony lives in Aldingbourne and over the last 6 years have been arguing that Ford Airfield should be developed, he is an advocate of this because he wanted to avoid development at Aldingbourne, so before I reply you have to understand what Tony’s position is.

Tony in his letter mentions Chichester District Council, but fails to mention that they recently turned down an application for a Horticultural hub. My recent article was arguing that we needed in the local plan less houses and more jobs. 

The Local Plan will decide House Building and Economic development for the next 12 years, so I do not apologise for advocating Horticultural Hubs and trying to change the agenda for the betterment of this area of the District. Past mistakes may have been made, but this does not mean that we should not ensure good policy for the future.

Until next month,  email: pauldendle@aol.com 

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