Worry that flood risk could rise around new town

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CONCERNS have been raised about the impact of a new town of up to 7,500 homes and the increased potential for future flooding of nearby areas.

Although a report on the sustainability of the new town north of Fareham identifies that the new development itself would probably not be at a significant risk of flooding, it could have an impact on areas downstream, such as Wallington and Titchfield.

Shortly before Christmas Wallington found itself the centre of national media attention when the flood defences came close to breaching as a crack developed in the river wall.

The defences held, but not without swift action being taken by the Environment Agency, the emergency services and the local councils.

During the same storms, junction 10 of the M27 at Wickham also became flooded – forcing the closure of the entire junction. The junction is likely to be one of the main entry points for the new town.

At a meeting of the new community north of Fareham standing conference, the Environment Agency was invited to talk about the problem.

Suzanne Greenwood of the agency said: ‘We have previously met the landowners and we know they are fully aware of the flood risks onsite and the need for sustainable drainage systems.’

Conference chairman Henry Cleary said: ‘One thing people want to know, is whether we can have some confidence that we can develop a site in some way that doesn’t exacerbate the kind of problems we experienced in Fareham before Christmas.’

At its meeting in April, Fareham Borough Council’s ruling executive is expected to pick its preferred option for the new town’s masterplan which will set out the broad location of uses on the site, including homes, employment areas, schools and open spaces.

David Walton of the Wallington Village Community Association said: ‘We need to know which of the options is going to be used, so we know exactly what we’re talking about because the agency aren’t able to say anything clearly at the moment.

‘It really is unhelpful in planning anything, not knowing that.’

The poll to pick the name of the new town runs until March 31.

For more information go to fareham.gov.uk