Chalk Streams and Flooding
In 2015 HAA was successful in obtaining £14,000 through WSCC Operation Watershed to investigate the causes of the not infrequent flooding experienced by residents in Parklands Road and at the Lodge Lane/Dale Avenue junction Two sets of surveys were commissioned: The first, for the Parklands Road area, has been completed and the report and recommendations will be found below. The second has yet to be completed as the preliminary CCTV survey revealed hard-core and rubble obstruction so severe that manual clearance will be necessary. This is likely to be a major operation in view of the length of the blocked culvert and may well involve road closure.
It is also likely to be expensive and although we hope Operation Watershed will provide any additional funding this is by no means certain. In the meantime, WSCC have been informed of the urgent need to clear the drains where Park Avenue joins Lodge Lane as these are also blocked and exacerbate the problem.
One of the penalties of living in a spring line village at the foot of the South Downs is that heavy rainfalls turn our chalk streams into fast-flowing torrents that feed the Herring stream which is already receiving an increasing amount of surface water due to the urbanisation of the village. Unfortunately, our historic Spitalford Bridge acts as a ‘pinch point’, constricting the flow of water. The photographs above taken on 7th January 2016 show how close we were to a flood.
Together with HKD Transition and the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust, we are actively exploring environmental measures which might reduce the water flow through the village. The first survey of the Butchers Wood/Lagg Wood area has already taken place and some interesting possibilities are being explored to reduce the flow of water into the Herring stream.
We are most grateful for the willing co-operation of the landowners: the Woodland Trust and Paul Roberts and Sue Milnthorpe. In addition, Peter King, Project Officer of the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust, was invited to meet the Environment Committee of the Parish Council in February.
However, we must not overlook the simple solutions which can reduce surface water run-off. Why not buy a water butt at a discount from Southern Water? Who will be the first resident to have a ‘green roof’ on their garage?
And find out what more you can do here.
See report on Local Surface Water Flooding Parklands Road, Hassocks. Issue 2. Archibald Shaw. October 2015
See Reducing Flood Risk in Hassocks. Upstream Flow Mitigation. Peter King. February 2016