Concerns over human waste in pond at Hailsham housing development

Fears have been raised about the discovery of human waste in a pond at a Hailsham housing development.

Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 5:27 pm
Councillor Neil Cleaver at Hailsham Cuckoo Meadow housing development

Residents have been complaining for months about the foul smells coming from the water near their homes at Cuckoo Meadow, close to the Cuckoo Trail.

The pond is under investigation by the Environment Agency and developer Bovis Homes after contamination was found there.

“Not only did the pond water smell terrible,” said local district councillor Neil Cleaver, “but it was also constantly overflowing, even during a dry spell.”

The pond

Walkers on the nearby Cuckoo Trail have also complained of the foul smell, Councillor Cleaver says alongside his colleague Councillor David White.

The councillors say tests carried out by Bovis confirmed a ‘high level of sewage pollution’ in the pond, which sits metres away from newbuild homes costing around £300,000.

An Environment Agency officer told the councillors the tests indicated the presence of a significant level of faecal contamination, most likely due to sewage entering the pond.

A spokesperson for Wealden District Council said, “We are aware of the contamination found in a pond at Cuckoo Meadow, Hellingly.

“Bovis, the developer responsible for the site, is now working to investigate the source of the problem.

“Whilst investigations take place, the council will remain in regular contact with Bovis and the Environment Agency – the lead authority in relation to this matter.”

A spokesperson for Bovis Homes said it had been made aware of ‘some concerns’ regarding the local watercourse.

They said, “We are taking the reports very seriously and working with the Environment Agency to understand what has happened.

“We can’t comment any further until the investigation is complete.”

The Environment Agency said the issue is being dealt with by Bovis Homes and would not comment further.

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