Quest to prevent flooding in Sompting continues

Flooding in Sompting. Photo: Maryann Blunden
Flooding in Sompting. Photo: Maryann Blunden

Progress has been made to prevent flooding problems in Sompting – but there is still work to be done, a councillor has said.

Councillor George Barton has been taking action after residents in Halewick Lane were hit with a river of brown, muddy water running down the hill after a heavy downpour earlier this month.

Mr Barton said the situation was ‘appalling’ and arranged a meeting to discover the cause of the flooding, which left thick mud and rocks over the road and pavement.

On Thursday, August 16, he met with the South Downs National Park Authority, the farmer from the top of Halewick Lane and a contractor, Browns, which is carrying out work to replace contaminated soil at the old landfill with fresh soil.

Providing an update on the situation at the top of Halewick Lane, Mr Barton said the farmer had cleared one of the two blocked flood pits, leaving the other to be done once permission was given by the relevant authority.

But Mr Barton said the failure of a lagoon at the top of the hill was ‘the biggest problem’.

While the owner of the lagoon has not yet been identified, Mr Barton said the county council had agreed to send a contractor to clear it this week. He was hopeful that clearing the lagoon would ensure no future flooding problems.

In Halewick Lane, gully clearing teams from West Sussex County Council have cleared the gullys where silt had been deposited.

A high powered gully clearance machine will also be used to finish the job, Mr Barton said.

Both Browns and the county council also sent street washers to clear debris from the road.

Mr Barton said: “A meeting needs to be held involving various technical officers from West Sussex County Council, Adur and Worthing environmental health agency, the Environment Agency and the South Downs Park Authority, where responsibilities need to be accepted and targets set to rectify shortcomings and avoid future incidents.

“I will push in all directions on behalf of the residents of Halewick until the matter is resolved.”

The area also experienced flooding following heavy rain on Sunday, but Mr Barton said it was ‘fortunately nowhere near as bad’ as it was on August 10.

READ MORE: Councillor investigates cause of ‘appalling’ Sompting flooding

‘6ft-wide river’ engulfs Sompting road in flash flooding