Catsfield farmer is left high and dry by work on Link Road

15/5/13- Farmer Chris Sargent from Sidley, who is in dispute with East Sussex County Council over the water supply to his livestock.
15/5/13- Farmer Chris Sargent from Sidley, who is in dispute with East Sussex County Council over the water supply to his livestock.
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FARMER Chris Sargent is furious that as work on the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road forges ahead, his livestock are at risk of having no water.

Chris, 30, from Catsfield, has a Farm Business Tenancy on 240 acres of land at Glovers Farm, Sidley, where he rears sheep and cattle.

But a spokesman for East Sussex County said the council owns the land and Chris will have to remove the livestock.

The route of the new £92 million Link Road cuts straight across the site, leaving Chris with severed fields - and water supply pipes. He said: “I’ve had half a dozen meetings with East Sussex County Council since August last year, and at each stage they’ve promised to address the issue of water supplies. A single sheep will drink a bucketful of water a day, and I’ve got more than 1,000 grazing here, while a few cattle will easily empty a trough. That means it’s vital water supplies are maintained, but so far the council has done nothing about installing a 20mm water pipe from nearby Actons Farm, which it owns and which was the agreed solution. They sent a bowser down for the cattle, but the trough was overturned and not replenished, emphasising the point that we need a permanent and constant supply. All the council seems worried about is going straight through with its road, bulldozing ahead with no regard to anything else.”

His case has been taken up the National Farmers’ Union and its legal team.

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said: “Mr Sargent’s livestock have been placed on the council’s land without consent and he has been given notice to remove them. In the interim until the livestock are removed the council will continue to ensure that the welfare of the stock is protected. A temporary water supply has been provided and access facilitated to ensure that the animals continue to be fed. The council has been patient, but must ensure these animals are removed as soon as possible so that work on the Bexhill – Hastings Link Road may continue.”