Fishbourne community aims to battle flooding

A PRO-ACTIVE, community effort is emerging in Fishbourne to reduce potential flooding.

The devastating floods seen in the area on June 11, which forced many residents out of their homes, has prompted the potential emergence of a community action group to focus on flood prevention.

Some residents are still unable to return to their homes and parish councillors and residents alike have been working together to focus on flood prevention and drainage issues.

Fishbourne residents have taken their lead from the success of the Emperor Way task groups, set up to submit proposals to Sussex Archaelogical Society trustees in a bid to solve the ongoing Emperor Way cycle path issue.

“We have seen from the Emperor Way campaign how effective the local community can be when it tackles an issue about which is cares deeply,” said Geoff Hand, chairman of Fishbourne Parish Council.

Councillors are working closely to improve the operation of the drainage system and to reduce the chance of potential future flooding.

In his report to the parish council, Cllr Nigel Hogben said: “Water flows down hill and in Fishbourne it passes under the A259 Main Road where there are three main culverts. If these culverts have a restricted water flow any improvement to north of the A259 will have little effect if the flow cannot pass through the culverts.”

The culverts in Old Park Lane have also been visited by former Fishbourne resident Michael Stephenson, Cllr Hogben and Kevin Macknay from West Sussex County Council, and a CCTV survey is set to be carried out on all three culverts under the A259.

Fishbourne parish representatives are due to meet with Chichester District Council on Monday to discuss results of Chichester District Council’s own surveys.

It is planned that once all the information is gathered, Fishbourne’s flood prevention group will be set up to look at current drainage problems, flood prevention and look at long-term solutions.

“A community action group on floods in Fishbourne, as envisaged by Mike Stephenson, will give everyone an opportunity to make their contribution towards solving current problems. By working with local utility service providers, we can take steps towards preventing them from happening in the future,” added Cllr Hand.