Page last updated at 09:00 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

Development concern in flood town

Residents are moved out of the care home
Residents were moved out of the care home to a place of safety

Flooding in Crawley which led to a care home having to be evacuated has led to concerns being voiced about levels of development in the West Sussex town.

Forty seven elderly people were rescued from the Gables Nursing Home and moved to alternative accommodation after the River Mole burst its banks on Saturday.

Crawley councillor Claire Denman said she had "real concerns" about flooding.

The cabinet spokeswoman for planning and economic development said there had been increasing building in the town.

She said: "I have real concerns at the overall flooding issues around this area.

"We have had an increasing amount of redevelopment in the area and there is only so much that the drainage system can actually cope with."

But she added: "Once again we are still seeing development continue in the area."

West Sussex County Council's leader Henry Smith has called for an urgent flood risk and drainage assessment.

He said that out of the nursing home's 47 residents, 35 were either confined to their beds or dependent on wheelchairs.

Mr Smith said it was not known when the residents could return to The Gables and said it was the second time such widespread flood problems had occurred in the area in recent years.

Boat crew

River water poured into the care home in Ifield Green shortly before 1900 GMT, flooding the ground floor.

Residents were moved to a place of safety inside the building before being taken to another nursing home.

Firefighters brought the residents out of the nursing home before they were taken to alternative accommodation in Warninglid.

No-one was injured, but one woman was reported to have suffered shock.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue mobilised six fire engines, their Technical Rescue Unit, and a boat crew to the scene.


Nearly 50 people had to be rehomed when the Gables nursing home flooded

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In Pictures: Severe flooding
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