Hastings Council make progress in discovering cause of Old Gill Landslip

Hastings Borough Council has announced that a geotechnical survey will take place into the cause of the catastrophic landslip which left two families having to leave their homes.

The landslip, in February saw gardens disappearing under tonnes of earth and footpaths and trees being lost after the steep sides of Old Roar Gill collapsed.

Since then residents have been in dispute with the council over where the landslip actually started, with residents saying it happened in the Gill itself, which is owned by the council, making it their responsibility, and the council saying it believed it had started on private land above the Gill.

In the latest development, the council released a statement, saying: “Real progress is now being made on trying to understand the cause of the Old Roar Gill landslip in Hastings last month.”Hastings Borough Council's leader Cllr Julia Hilton said: "I know the inactivity on Old Roar Gill has been a real frustration for residents, and I completely understand that. I am therefore pleased to confirm that we have now had confirmation that our insurers have agreed to pay for a geotechnical survey of the area affected by the landslip, covering both HBC land in the gill and the private properties directly impacted."We are still awaiting details of timescales but we are pushing for this work to be carried out as soon as possible. There is clearly a lot more to be done, but this is a major step in understanding what caused the landslip, and identifying what actions need to be taken moving forward."

Affected residents, living close the the scene of the landslip, set up their own Crowdfunder page in a bid to raise money toward getting expert legal and technical support. which raised £1,000 in the first 24 hours.

Ralitsa Hiteva, who has been served an emergency order to leave her Foxcote family home, said: “Legal support is needed to change the conditions of the Emergency Prohibition Orders we have been issued with, which prohibit us from living in our homes. Expert technical support we need involves the commissioning of environmental, soil and geotechnical reports which will consider the legacy issues of planning, environmental and water management and maintenance, we believe have played a significant role in this disaster. A soil survey will cost between 15K and 25K.

"Although there is evidence that the landslide started before the 14th February, we first became aware that something was happening at 9pm on Valentines’ Day when we heard the crushing sound of trees falling down the banks of the nearby Gill.

"Since that day we have lost so much: over 40 trees and tonnes of earth are now at the bottom of the Gill, along with fences, decking, sheds and other debris.”

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