Pictures show extent of flooding in parts of Bognor Regis

Pictures sent in by a local landowner show the extent of flooding in Flansham, near Bognor Regis, over the last few days.

The images, sent in by Sussex farmer Nick Adames, show farmland under several inches of water after Monday night’s storm, which also led to flooded roads in Yapton – where a man was rescued from the water and a three-way crossing was closed – and two roads in Aldwick, which have since re-opened after Southern Water staff cleared a blocked outfall pipe.

The news comes shortly after government officials issued a flood alert for the Barnham and Aldingbourne Rifes, warning residents and business owners that, after a few days of rain, both waterbodies are high, and flooding may continue to affect fields near Shripney Road on the A259, parts of the Tesco Car Park, also on Shripney Road, and land around the Riverside Caravan Park Centre.

Although Friday and Saturday are expected to remain dry, small showers could keep rife levels high, and minor flood impacts could persist until May 08.

Mr Adames is amongst the West Sussex landowners who has pushed for a return to the practice of dredging the rife ever since the Environment Agency stopped it several years ago. He says this week’s floods – and those of the last few years at large – are further evidence that something needs to be done to safeguard arable land and protect businesses from flood water.

"And this and so many other places are like this because the Environment agency are totally neglecting to do a thing about their responsibilities,” he told Sussex World.

At a meeting of an Arun District flood action group called FACT last month, Mr Adames suggested that one of the solutions to the problems caused by flooding would be to hand over responsibility for the rife to local stakeholders and farmers, many of whom already have the resources and equipment to dredge the rife, he said, and who could form a committee to make sure it was done regularly.

Historically, the Environment Agency has argued that dredging the rife is both too expensive to be worth doing, and that it might endanger some of the wildlife inhabiting the area.