VIDEO: Man’s four year wait for council to fix drainage for new home

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A Partridge Green man is unable to move into his new home because of poor drainage of pipes owned by West Sussex County Council.

Keith Price of High Street, Partridge Green, is waiting to move into his new barn conversion at Dunstan’s Farm, Shermanbury Road, but work on the plumbing cannot be completed because pipeworks owned and managed by West Sussex County Council are ‘not fit for usage’ and ‘require immediate attention and alteration’ according to a plumber’s report.

JPCT 250413 S13180072x Partridge Green. Keith Price.  Flooding row with county council -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 250413 S13180072x Partridge Green. Keith Price. Flooding row with county council -photo by Steve Cobb

Mr Price said: “It’s all finished apart from the drainage. I can’t move in simply because I can’t use my toilet, sinks or anything. We started on to the county council in February 2009.”

In a report to Mr Price, Hilton Scott from Hydrotex Environmental Services says lack of drainage is causing all the runoff from the road, including fuel residue, discarded food packaging and degraded cigarettes, to flow into a pond.

He explains in his report to Mr Price that because of the problem, waste water cannot freely leave the sewerage treatment plant (STP) attached to the property and said he could not commission the STP because of the ‘lack of essential maintenance and upkeep of the public area’.

He said: “Until the pond gullies and culvert have been correctly repaired and are clear and flowing freely, I would not commission your STP. Any person that did or said you could would be in contradiction of the Environment Agency’s legislations on discharge policies.”

He added that there are also risks to wildlife. “There should be a bypass pipe in place from the road culvert to the outlet pipe of the pond so there is protection in place as the pond has fishing rights and abundance of wildlife that uses it as a habitat.”

In March 2011 Helen Dayneswood, clerk to West Grinstead Parish Council, took up the issue with the county council saying the underground drainage pipes around the pond ‘appeared to be in disrepair’.

In September last year WSCC’s drainage strategy team leader Kevin Macknay emailed Mr Price saying they would clear the ditch and culvert next to the pond and create a sump to manage the surface water.

But despite the council’s £8.25m campaign to tackle flooding problems across the county, still no action has been taken.

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “This matter is currently being fully investigated by West Sussex County Council and we cannot comment any further at this time.”