Angry villagers in North Chailey plagued by flies

ANGRY residents beset by a plague of flies are demanding action to cure the problem.

Neighbours at North Chailey, living close to the A272, have been living with the “sickening” infestation since last autumn and are calling for answers.

Problems with flies began after Southern Water repaired breaks in a sewage pipe in the Hazeldene Lane-Coldharbour Lane area.

Residents believe sewage had seeped into the soil before repairs and flies laid eggs in the earth, resulting in the current infestation.

They argue the affected top soil should be stripped and replaced, a potentially expensive exercise.

Richard Rutherford, former chief executive of the South of England Agricultural Society, who lives at Hazeldene Lane, said: “I have two fly papers in my garage and each one must have about 300 flies on it.

“They like shade so as soon as I open my garage they fly in. They are so thick you could breathe them in. It’s horrible if they get in the house.

“We don’t see an end to it all. No-one seems to be doing anything.”

ADAS, Lewes District Council, and Southern Water talks have failed to resolve the issue.

Michael Brophy, of Hazeldene Lane, Newick, said: “The moment you open the door you get an infestation. It’s sickening.

“I think there needs to be pressure on Southern Water really, this has been going on a long time”

A Southern Water spokesperson, said: “The problem may have been aggravated by the sudden increase in temperatures in early spring this year in combination with damp woodlands next to watercourses.

“This can increase the chance of more pupae hatching into adults, increasing the flies’ population.

“The cause of the current flies infestation remains, however, unclear, and investigations are continuing to identify its solution and prevent a similar situation in the future.”