Inquiry hears of worry over flooding at site

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FEARS have been voiced that a developer’s drainage protection plans are not robust enough to stop flooding.

Jeremy Muscroft gave evidence for Crayfern Homes at a planning appeal inquiry into 92 properties it wants to build in a field alongside the A3M in Bedhampton.

The application was turned down by Havant Borough Council last May on the grounds the noise from the motorway would affect quality of life for potential residents.

Campaigners were given the chance to question the company’s flooding and drainage plan even though the council has no objection to it.

There have been flooding issues in the area and residents feel any extra homes would increase the pressure on the drainage and lead to more problems.

Crayfern wants to build a pumping station on the site to connect with the system in nearby Scratchface Lane which they say will be able to handle all the extra properties

But Councillor Jenny Wride, who represents Bedhampton, said she does not believe it would be enough to stop future flooding.

‘Southern Water knows the Scratchface Lane drainage system needs upgrading but it will cost £1.5m and we are not on the priority list,’ she said.

‘It’s probably going to be a decade or more before they invest that sort of money and this pumping station is the alternative option even though the Scratchface Lane drainage system is almost to capacity.

‘We have more water springs in Bedhampton than anywhere else in the county..

‘I find it inexplicable we are considering this development as it could potentially cause a lot of damage further down the water flow.’

Mr Muscroft replied: ‘There is a requirement to have storage within the system so it does not flood anything else.

‘It equates to enough space to store 160 litres (of water) per dwelling in an emergency.

‘This requirement will protect the pumping station, the inhabitants and the environment.’

He added: ‘We have spent a lot of time and effort thoroughly assessing the site’.

The flooding and drainage plans have been approved by the Council’s drainage engineer and Southern Water.

The inquiry at Havant’s Public Service Plaza concludes today.

A decision will not be made for several weeks.