Residents’ anger over delay in St Leonards water mains work

Cllr Scott with unhappy residents by one of the trenches in Arbourvale. Picture by Alan Roberts
Cllr Scott with unhappy residents by one of the trenches in Arbourvale. Picture by Alan Roberts

A delay in the completion of water mains work in St Leonards has left residents fuming.

Southern Water started the work in January, replacing water mains in Celandine Drive and neighbouring streets.

It was expected to take around three months, said ward councillor Phil Scott.

But six months on, the work has still not finished and huge trenches have been left unfilled.

Cllr Scott said: “Southern Water has made empty promise and promise, which has left residents angry.

“It has been replacing water mains in the Celandine Drive area, as well as nearby Hollington Park Road.

“Progress has been amazingly slow and, despite a street meeting with residents and Southern Water officers and two other meetings with myself and the company, promises made have not materialised.

“The deadline for completion of works has been continually extended and there is now major disruption within the area, as there are too many excavations that have been opened up in anticipation of getting the job done.

“Because of the lack of progress the excavations remain open, giving residents a problem with access to their driveways and so on. It’s really affected their quality of life. I firmly believe it needs to introduce more resources and people to get the job completed. It’s a nightmare. I believe the company should be offering compensation to affected residents via their water bills.”

A spokesman for Southern Water said: “Our Celandine Drive scheme will reduce the risk of burst water mains in the area, providing a more reliable supply of water to residents.

“The work has had some delays, which, though unavoidable, have been frustrating for residents and we apologise for that.

“We’re now bringing in more staff to carry out work on site and don’t envisage any more hold-ups. Throughout the scheme, we’ve kept residents updated on progress through letters, bulletins on our website and drop-in sessions to catch up with our project team.

“We’ve also been in regular contact with Cllr Scott and his colleagues, and have worked to answer all their queries as quickly as we can.

“We would like to remind customers to report any issues to us via 0330 303 0368.”

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