Selsey pensioner's flood fears over new homes

A pensioner fears a large pool of overflowing rain water, dug by a developer on his doorstep, will cause his property to flood.

A waterlogged site at East Beach Walk, where 110 homes are being built
A waterlogged site at East Beach Walk, where 110 homes are being built

John Prior has lived in Park Road, Selsey, for 62 years.

He lives just south of East Beach Walk, a new development of 110 homes.

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The first few houses are currently being built, and developer Barratt Homes has dug a huge well on the south of the site, where rainwater is flowing into.

John Prior, 86, looking out of his home at the water on the development, with fellow Selsey resident Alan Redman

With so much recent wet weather, that pool is overflowing and Mr Prior fears with any more it could begin flowing onto his land.

“I’m 86 years old and I tend not to get terrified or too excited about anything, but I do worry I will flood,” said Mr Prior, who lives in one of the old Pullman Railway coaches converted into houses.

“I’m worried they are going to keep pumping water into it (the pool) and it’s already overflowing right near my back garden.

“They put a black plastic fence right around the perimeter to keep wildlife out and to my mind that’s all that’s keeping the water in.”

The large pool of water which is overflowing close to John's house

And pointing to a picture of people ice skating, which Mr Prior said was on the land from the early 1960s, he said: “Look, that’s my Mrs on her ice skates.

“We had a terrific amount of rain over the winter, and then it froze for weeks. So the land flooding is nothing new.

“It used to be farmland used for growing crops like beans and peas and then horses were kept on the field.

“Because of its history of flooding it should never have been sold for housing to be built there.”

Ice skating on the land back in the early 1960s

Pye Homes gained planning permission to build the 110 houses on the site, north west of park road with access from Drift Road, back in 2014.

The land was subsequently sold to Barratt Homes with planning permission, and work started on the development late last year.

Another Selsey resident, who said he spoke out against the homes when it went up for planning in 2014, echoed Mr Prior’s views.

Alan Redman, who lives in East Beach Road, said: “It’s totally ridiculous to built houses on a flood plain.

“You have an elderly resident petrified that his house with flood, and his picture of his wife ice skating there shows the land has always had a problem with flooding. I said a few things I probably shouldn’t when it was up for planning but councillors approved it anyway.”

Jon Green, construction director for Barratt Homes, said: “We are aware of the history of flooding in the vicinity of our new development and this has been a leading factor in the design of our final drainage scheme.

“We are unaware of any flooding to our neighbours caused by our works.”

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