Water mains work in St Leonards suspended in light of residents’ concerns

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

Overrunning water mains works in St Leonards have been suspended following residents’ fury.

Last week the Observer reported that people living in Celandine Drive and neighbouring streets were getting fed up over constant delays in completion of the work by Southern Water, which started in January.

Over the last few months, huge trenches have appeared in the streets and been left unfilled.

Ward councillor Phil Scott said the works, which were expected to take just three months, had created major disruption in the area and affected people’s quality of life.

But this week Southern Water announced the work will stop and be resumed at a later date following residents’ concerns.

Cllr Scott said: “Power to the people and the power of the media has concentrated the minds of Southern Water and East Sussex County Council, as works will be suspended until such time Southern Water comes back with a planned schedule and project management in place.

“There are mixed feelings from residents, some of whom just want them to get on with it and some who want some respite.

“Thanks to the media, the Hastings Observer in particular, which have supported residents by highlighting the issue.”

A Southern Water spokesman said: “Following a discussion with East Sussex County Council about our project to install a new water main in St Leonards, we will be backfilling and reinstating the majority of open excavations by the end of this week and re-apply to complete our works at a later stage, the date of which will be dependant on approval by the highway authority.

“This means the concerns raised by residents about the current open excavations shall be addressed in the short term.

“The new water mains installation remains incomplete and we will need to come back and finish off the work.

“By taking on board the feedback received, we plan to target and complete smaller areas of work, rather than spreading across a number of roads.

“By doing this, we hope to significantly reduce the impact that our works has on local residents.

“Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to apologise to our customers for the lengthy delay and hope that the action taken will now restore some normality to the residents of the affected areas.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/ 2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hastingsobserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.