Bid to tackle flooding in Winchelsea

Peter Turner, chairman of Icklesham Parish Council and Branwen Rhead, from Southern Water with Amber Rudd
Peter Turner, chairman of Icklesham Parish Council and Branwen Rhead, from Southern Water with Amber Rudd

Flooding and drainage problems came under discussion at a meeting chaired by MP, Amber Rudd.

Residents in Winchelsea Beach have suffered from raw sewage flooding into their gardens in the past.

The Rye MP held a similar meeting with residents, along with parish councillors and representatives from Southern Water and the Environment Agency in January this year.

Amber said: “I am determined that collectively with the help of these relevant agencies, a solution will be found to this continuing problem of infiltration of the sewers being overwhelmed.

“At such times Southern Water tanker the water away.

“This is problematic as the noise is very disturbing to the residents, while the process is very costly, and damaging to the roads, as well as causing houses to vibrate.

“For environmental health reasons, it is vital this partnership approach succeeds in finding a more permanent and acceptable remedy.

“I was grateful for the input of residents who noted that the dikes and ditches are not being maintained as they used to be, while some have been blocked or tarmacked over, but in the past, as children, residents can recall that as children, they could row boats up the dikes.”

The MP’s meeting was held on Saturday (October 17) at Winchelsea Beach Community Hall.

It was attended by representatives from Southern Water, the Environment Agency, East Sussex County Council, Rother District Council, the Romney Marshes Area Internal Drainage Board and Icklesham Parish Council.

The purpose is to identify sources of ground water and surface water entering the sewers in a marsh area on a high water table subject to tidal intrusions, which on occasions has led to flooding and raw sewage in residents’ gardens.

Amber said the meeting concluded with Southern Water agreeing to undertake flow surveys during wet weather events in the winter to establish the principal sources of infiltration to the sewer system.

Once this evidence has been gathered in about 12 weeks’ time, a third meeting will be convened to discuss the next steps, she added.

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