A terrified pensioner feared she would have "no house to go back to" after counter terror police swarmed into her road.

Retired carer Margaret Tester's quiet residential street in Bracklesham Bay near Chichester was evacuated by police this afternoon as the Bomb Squad was called in during a raid.

Officers searching the house of a man arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred found a suspicious object inside the property, prompting a major counter terrorism police response.

"We were all told to evacuate because there was a suspicious device in one of the houses down the road," Margaret said.

The 87-year-old was told to leave her home while soldiers rolled out a specialist bomb disposal robot from their lorry.

Read more: Bomb disposal unit carries out 'explosion' in city

She said: "I woke up at 6.45am and saw a blue light but only thought someone was burgled so took no notice.

"Then more police officers were walking down the road and at about 12 noon more police cars were coming and also a bomb disposal lorry."

The Argus: The Royal Navy bomb disposal truck arriving to the sceneThe Royal Navy bomb disposal truck arriving to the scene (Image: Jack Chiverton / Eddie Mitchell)

Margaret and her neighbours were sent to the nearby Royal British Legion in East Wittering.

"It was a bit of a worry," she said. "We thought we would have no house to go back to."

Officers were seen outside a house in the street which was sealed off to cars and pedestrians.

The Argus: The road was cordoned off by policeThe road was cordoned off by police (Image: Jack Chiverton / Eddie Mitchell)

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: "A warrant was carried out in Bracklesham Close, Bracklesham Bay, Chichester, this morning and a 47-year-old man from Sussex was arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. He remains in police custody at this time.

"During a search of the property officers found an item of concern. As a result, the Explosive Ordnance Unit (EOD) was called and a cordon was put in place. They have assessed the item and have confirmed that it poses no risk to the public.

"Thank you to the public for their patience while this assessment was carried out."

Margaret was allowed back to her home at 3pm but police remain on scene.