Home > Flood risk > Enterprise Zone proposal in Flood Zone 3

Enterprise Zone proposal in Flood Zone 3

         Enterprise Zone Bognor Regis - Flood Zone 3

It is worth asking if Arun District Council, in making it’s recent bid for an Enterprise Zone to the north of Bognor Regis (supported by the Coast to Capital local enterprise partnership and West Sussex County Council) made the government aware that this location is in Flood Zone 3, which is a very important material consideration. Flood Zone 3 is land at most risk of flooding.

The Environment Agency submission to the draft Local Plan states; “However, we do have some concerns as to how decisions were made in relation to employment land allocations and the proposed sites for strategic housing allocations which we would like to see addressed before any further consultation.” and “The four sites identified as employment land allocations in the Bognor Regis Enterprise Zone lie within Flood Zone 3.” 

I want an Enterprise Zone in our district as much as anybody else, but I am aware that we live on a flood plain and that, for some very strange reason, the council has identified one of the lowest points on the flood plain for our future employment provision. It does not make sense.

This location was first identified for employment in the 2003 Local Plan. No employers turned up during the plan period and so it was a barren decade for employment provision in this district. Then the first Enterprise Zone bid was submitted and rejected by government. Now we await the outcome of a second bid for Enterprise Zone status – again at the same location.

Recently, Rolls Royce committed to this location and is utilising the only land not in Flood Zone 3. Why would other potential employers want to locate their business on land in Flood Zone 3, and so far from the A27? I am concerned that any potential employers will lose interest as soon as they realise that Rolls Royce has the only high ground and the rest of the land is in Flood Zone 3.

By contrast, I have always been an advocate of development on brownfield land at Ford, which is in Flood Zone 1 (land at least risk of flooding), adjacent to the south coast main railway line, and adjacent to the proposed Arundel Bypass. A perfect location for an Enterprise Zone but has it been properly reconsidered since the announcement of funding for an Arundel Bypass?

The recent announcement of £250 million funding for an Arundel bypass is very welcome news. However, if Coast to Capital, West Sussex County Council and Arun District Council don’t press home the case for an Arundel bypass by visibly demonstrating how they will utilise this investment, then a future government might feel justified in withdrawing the funding. We must be seen to use it – or run the risk of losing it!

My concern is that the proposed Enterprise Zone is the right idea but in the wrong location.

  1. Brigitte
    March 24, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    complete common sense to me ! And like you a change of goverment could see funding lost ! Which im my mind will see further stagnation in the local area ! Totaly unexceptable in my mind !

  2. March 23, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Very well said!

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