Residents say more work is needed to protect homes and a Hastings beauty spot from landslips

Residents affected by the ongoing landslip at OId Road Gill have set out what action they believe needs to be taken.

In a statement, published on Thursday, they called for monitoring of the progress of the landslip as well as measures to slow down or stop of progress of the landslip.They also called for a survey of the area adjacent to the landslip and said there should be a timescale put in place for the insurers to complete a survey.They said there should be consideration of the immediate and short-term impact of tree and other debris changing the water course in the gill and the potential for accelerating the landslip progress.

None of these things have happened so far they pointed out.

The statement read: ‘The only survey which was carried out by the Council and which served as the basis of their decision to serve prohibition order on two properties, claiming that the landslide started on private land was carried out on Monday 19th February. The two provided graphs, which were impossible to read and come with no description, are a “general representational of a slip plane, and not an actual representation of what occurred in this instance”. No-one from Hastings Borough Council was able to explain what the graphs conveyed, apart from “that the modelled slip circle suggests that the landslip originated in the gardens of the directly affected properties. “The document revealed that the private land referred to in HBC statements was the gardens of the directly affected properties. Given the lack of evidence or ability of the council to explain this evidence, They were asked to publish a retraction and change the wording of its statements until there is evidence to support these claims. Council representatives promised ‘to look into it’.”

Residents said that Councillor Glenn Haffenden has promised to try and facilitate a meeting with Southern Water and residents to discuss concerns about drainage and maintenance surrounding and affecting the Gill area.

Hastings Borough Council, in a statement of its own, said: “Following this meeting, we have been asked to confirm publicly that the cause of the landslip has not yet been determined. This can only be done following specialist geo-technical investigations which are being commissioned on council owned land in the gill and on the residential land at the top.

“The council is arranging a further meeting with the directly affected residents to review the situation in terms of the emergency prohibition orders which have been issued to protect the lives of the residents judged to be most at risk from the on-going incident.

“The council also committed to sending updates to the wider group of residents when further information is available and next steps are firmed up. There were a number of questions raised (at the meeting on Wednesday) and the council is working to answer those that couldn't be answered on the evening.”