Plea for investment in flooding defences

An artist's impression of the completed training ground
An artist's impression of the completed training ground

A COUNCILLOR has called for money from the Brighton and Hove Albion training ground development to be invested in improving East Lancing’s flood defences.

Lancing parish councillor Doris Martin says money from the training-ground deal should be used to create a flood defence fund.

But the terms of the deal stipulate that the £1.3million paid to Adur Council under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act must pay for a 3G football pitch and improvements to the district’s sport and recreation facilities.

“It would not be possible to use this funding for other purposes including any flood defence fund,” said an Adur Council spokesman.

The council has so far received £140,000 from the club, on top of the £400,000 paid for the land, and is due another £1.2million, more than half of which is to be paid when the training ground is complete.

Cllr Martin said she wanted ‘a significant sum’ from the money received to be used to create the flood defence fund.

“Some people are suggesting the construction of the training ground is making the flood problem worse,” said Cllr Martin.

“Whether that is the case or not, it certainly seems reasonable that some of the money should be used in flood defence work in East Lancing.”

The council rejected these claims, saying there was no evidence to suggest that the training ground development had exacerbated any flood risk to properties in the West Beach area.

“The estate has a ‘long history of flooding issues caused by a combination of un-adopted roads and sewers and flooding associated with high tides,” the spokesman said.

Cllr Martin suggested that £500,000 could be invested in a ring-fenced fund used clear ditches, provide sandbags, and building extra flood defences.

But the council said the only money that could possibly be spent on such a fund would be the £400,000 from the sale of the land.

The spokesman said Adur Council was not the lead flood authority and pointed out that West Sussex County Council had already committed ‘significant funding’ towards clearing blocked ditches and reducing the risk of flooding to homes, particularly in the Lancing Manor area.