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Catastrophic Spillage

Hayling’s Infrastructure problems continue to cause anxiety and, for some, more immediate distress. On September 15th residents nearby Hayling’s Stoke Village pumping station, which pumps Hayling’s accumulated effluent to Southern Water’s (SW) Budds Farm, experienced the full force of escaping raw sewage into neighbouring ditches, a field and into Langstone Harbour. Despite upgraded and inbuilt safety features both pumps – one of which alone was technically sufficient for the task – failed, so local man hole covers were forced open by unrelenting effluent pressure.

At least two issues arise from this. Firstly SW’s presentation assured HBC Officers, Councillors and residents’ groups’ representatives at the Infrastructure Delivery Group’s Meeting in 2017 that Hayling’s sewage and waste water system was already working well below capacity and could readily accommodate projected new housing developments. September’s Stoke catastrophe and similar experiences there reported to HIRA over recent years make SW’s assurances highly questionable. Whether blockage or electrical failure is the cause, how can residents have confidence in this system?

Secondly, the enthusiasm to develop more intensively on Hayling Island may, as we have repeatedly suggested at public consultations, negatively impact on our Island’s natural drainage facilities. Stoke residents report that an adjoining field was designated by the Environment Agency as Flood Zone 3 and as the main drainage for north Hayling. Its owners have gradually filled in this natural drainage. The consequence is that, when the pumps fail or there is any excessive surface water, surplus waste water is now diverted closer to nearby homes.

Even if large drainage pipes were to be buried in this or any other Hayling field in order to facilitate housing and accompanying hard standing on the surface, our pumping stations, designed to overcome Hayling’s low lying ground, have broken down with catastrophic effects. Tankers attempting to remove excess waste from all pumping stations must also rely on our single road access to reach Budds Farm.

Hayling’s access vulnerability was again in focus when a tanker’s clutch failed recently just south of our bridge, blocking the A3023 until it could be moved. Whilst the local fuel station’s re-routing of vehicles around its pumps was fortunate, the health and safety implications of this situation cannot be overlooked. As we’ve explained before, a second bridge’s cost far outweighs even Hayling’s proposed developments. Yet major housing developments need corresponding road links and all business and commuters are, even without these developments, experiencing congestion affecting work, appointments and health.

Our next, free Public Meeting features Speaker Mr. Nigel Jardine, describiing his work as Langstone Harbour Master: October 19th 7:30 pm Hayling Community Centre. Contact HIRA or drop boxes: Hayling Community Centre, West Town; Mengham Library; Morris Dibben, Mengham; The Terracotta Pot and Gift Shop, Eastoke; Library Elm Grove.

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