Hoping to turn tide on Ringmer flooding problem

Lewes MP Norman Baker visits flooded homes at Broyleside near Ringmer
Lewes MP Norman Baker visits flooded homes at Broyleside near Ringmer

A meeting has been called to address flooding problems at Broyleside Cottages, Ringmer, after a visit from the Lewes MP while the homes were under water

Norman Baker met residents at the end of last week and saw ‘the considerable damage which this flooding had caused to these properties’.

He said the cottages had been flooded before, including in 2000 and 2005.

He then wrote to the Environment Agency, East Sussex County Council and Lewes District Council calling for ‘a plan and funding to implement it, to stop today’s occurrence from happening again’.

A spokesperson for the county council said the three organisations were meeting to ‘discuss and respond to the matters raised in Mr Baker’s letter’.

Norman visited with district Cllr Peter Gardiner following calls to his office.

In his letter he said: “It appears nothing has been done to build in resilience and indeed I am concerned there has also been a failure to maintain the existing infrastructure in a way that minimises the threat of flooding.”

He pointed out ‘a number of fundamental problems which do not seem to be addressed properly, and which have been raised before’.

They included ‘insufficient capacity’ of a culvert, the need to build a headwall to stop a drain blocking, water running up out of a drain gully at Broyle Lane and the need to keep Norlington Stream open and clear.

Andrew Gilham, flood risk manager for the Environment Agency, said drainage issues in that area were ‘complex’.

“When we were made aware of a problem on Thursday we sent a team to make sure Norlington Stream was flowing as freely as it could and found no problem,” he said.

“There are historic problems, generally as a result of heavy rainfall, as the water in that area does drain into the stream.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said a meeting had been set up as a result of Norman’s letter.

“We are meeting with the Environment Agency and Lewes District Council to discuss and respond to the matters raised in Mr Baker’s letter,” they said.

“Given the complex nature of the issues, it’s important that we can provide a detailed response and ensure each point is addressed.

“All agencies involved are keen to ensure a solution is found which will protect the residents of Broyleside in the future.”

A spokesperson said: “Lewes District Council continues to work closely with householders following the recent flooding. We attended and helped residents to reduce the risk of flooding as well as assessing individual needs and requirements in the aftermath of the flooding. We provided practical help and advice. The Council know the distress that flooding causes and we want to do all we can to work with local communities to make them more resilient in the future. We also recognise that agencies need to continue to work together. There will be a joint meeting on Friday 16 January between the Environment Agency, East Sussex County Council and Lewes District Council to review what happened to cause the flooding and to explore steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of flooding in the future.”

A Lewes District Council spokesperson said: “Lewes District Council continues to work closely with householders following the recent flooding.

“We attended and helped residents to reduce the risk of flooding as well as assessing individual needs and requirements in the aftermath.

“We provided practical help and advice.

“The council know the distress flooding causes and we want to do all we can to work with local communities to make them more resilient in the future.

“We also recognise agencies need to continue to work together.

“There will be a meeting on Friday January 16 to explore steps to reduce the risk.”