West Sussex County Council has approved its first batch of Operation Watershed applications over the summer.
The County Council has made £500,000 available for 2017/18 to help communities protect themselves against flooding.
Parish and town councils and community groups are welcome to apply now to the Operation Watershed Active Community Fund for help.
West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Highways, Bob Lanzer, said: “Operation Watershed is up and running once again for those community projects that protect people and properties from the risks of surface water and ground water flooding.
“Thousands of homes have already been protected from potential surface water or groundwater flooding and other flood related issues thanks to Operation Watershed over the years, and there will be plenty more to benefit this year.
“The first five schemes all met our criteria for help, and clearly demonstrate how communities want to help themselves and take responsibility for flood risk in their areas.”
The five successful applications, worth £54,126, were:
Itchingfield Parish Council: £38,942 towards drainage works.
Four areas in Itchingfield have suffered with drainage issues over the past four years. Residents will now benefit from a series of improvements. This includes unblocking culverts and clearing ditches in the Sandhills Road/Plumtree Lane area; drainage work to stop the footpath flooding in Smugglers Lane; replacing pipes and culverts in Trout Lane; and drainage improvements to the south side of Fulfords Hill.
West Itchenor Parish Council: £4,602 towards alterations for Itchenor Road Pond.
Itchenor Road Pond is built to store water at a higher height than the adjacent road and nearby farmland. It is often stagnant and polluted, and has little value as either a habitat for wildlife or a holding pool for water in rainstorms. This scheme will alter the pond wall to reduce the risk of overflowing, and add a sleeper feature to retain water during rainstorms. Community volunteers have already completed hours of preparation work ahead of this project.
Haywards Heath Town Council: £3,944 towards new gulley at Barnard Gate.
For the past year there has been a flooding issue at Barnard Gate. Residents have not being able to use the footpath network at the junction with Balcombe Road. This scheme will mean a new gulley can be installed, connected to existing drainage systems, to fix the problem so residents can use the footpath safely.
FLOW Project: £3,590 towards equipment for volunteers.
Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group is a grassroots charity aiming to improve flood resilience along the flatlands of the Manhood Peninsula. The project supports 11 parish and town councils on the peninsula to work with residents and landowners on fixing and linking wetlands. As part of its recruitment drive for volunteers, it needs basic tools and equipment to help with tasks such as ditch clearances and pond improvements. This project will help fund these tools.
Petworth Town Council: £3,498 towards a CCTV investigation of A272 Horsham Road.
A blocked culvert has been identified underneath the A272 Horsham Road in Petworth. This project will pay for a crew to jet it clean and inspect it with a CCTV camera, to find out what is causing the problem.
The criteria used to assess applications are as follows:
It addresses recognised surface or groundwater flooding issues;
It has strong community support;
It demonstrates value for money; and
Will realise benefits to your community.
Community groups, volunteer groups, town and parish councils within West Sussex are all eligible to apply.
As before, all applications need support from their local elected County Councillor.
In previous years the Operation Watershed Active Communities Fund was oversubscribed.
The earlier you submit a bid, the more likely you are for it to be successful.