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Revised Rookwood proposals include measures to combat existing flooding

A concept image of Rookwood Horsham. This image is for illustrative purposes only and shows local wildflowers and butterflies, open paths next to a lake and a lookout for birdwatchers

22 Mar 2021

In proposing Rookwood as a strategic site in its Local Plan, Horsham District Council has focused its development proposals on the southern part of the site only and  an area where there can be action to mitigate a current risk of flooding.

The specialist consultants, Stantec, have recommended the introduction of swales or ditches to facilitate water run-off and slow the flow of any rainwater, so putting no increased burden on the existing drainage infrastructure and also dealing with the existing risk. The creation of holding ponds as well as including green roofs and permeable paving would also be part of the design.

The revised proposal for the Rookwood site sees Warnham Local Nature Reserve expanded, no housing on the northern half of the site and, in response to public feedback, no development on the area between Boldings Brook and the Red River wildlife corridor (currently the 15th golf fairway).

Commenting on the flood mitigation work, Paul Jenkin, Director of Water Management at Stantec said:

The proposals put forward at Rookwood are unusual in that not only can we place all of any potentially vulnerable development in the area of lowest risk of flooding, but there are also great opportunities to deliver an exemplar sustainable drainage system which could meet and exceed policy requirements.

I can say with confidence that based on the available data the proposed development will be at low risk of flooding and will not increase flood risk elsewhere.

Further benefits of the revised Rookwood proposal would include:

  • Full public access tothe northern part of the site via a new public park with an extension to the nature reserve,offering huge possibilities for improving biodiversity, enhancing wildlife networks and enabling the community to get closer to nature
  • Green corridors and landscaping to protect and enhance habitats within the river ways of Boldings Brook and the Red River
  • New pathways for walking and cycling creating a less car-centric development, some 25 minutes’ walk from the town centre.

For more information please visit the Rookwood Horsham website.

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