‘No action proposed’ to tackle future flooding in Three Bridges

Flooding in  Three Bridges back in early 2014
Flooding in Three Bridges back in early 2014

‘No action is proposed’ to tackle flooding in Northgate and Three Bridges, its county councillor has suggested.

Peter Lamb said there were a number of weak points across West Sussex’s road network when it came to surface drainage, with two key crossing points between east and west Crawley ‘rendered unnavigable’ back in January due to ‘insufficient drainage’ from the highway.

At last month’s full council meeting, he asked what steps West Sussex County Council were taking to prevent future flooding problems at such weak points after heavy rainfall.

In a written answer, John O’Brien, WSCC’s cabinet member for highways and transport, explained that their flood defence programme was focusing on gully cleaning, funding for flood prevention projects driven by local communities through Operation Watershed, and major schemes such as works to coastal flood defences.

He said that ‘unfortunately’ there were parts of West Sussex that suffer flooding, with issues in St Mary’s Drive and Hazelwick Avenue recently.

This was because high water levels meant that highways drainage systems were unable to discharge into the Gatwick stream.

He added: “Highways officers ensure that the existing systems at these locations are clear and working efficiently, giving any flooding on the highway the best chance to drain quickly away once levels in the Gatwick stream allow.”

Mr Lamb (Lab, Northgate and Three Bridges), who is also leader of Crawley Borough Council, replied: “So no action is proposed at this time to resolve this problem in my division?”

Mr O’Brien (Con, East Grinstead South and Ashurst Wood) said that officers were working hard to resolve the issues and make sure drainage systems were working correctly so ‘they can get the best results we can’.

He added: “But in heavy weather we do have an issue there.”

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