Heating to be turned off during upgrade work

Ditchling Village sign
Ditchling Village sign

The decision to start gas network upgrades during winter is ‘beyond belief’ according to one Ditchling resident.

The ‘essential’ gas work conducted by gas distribution company SGN will begin on Monday (January 9) and is expected to last for approximately six to eight weeks.

During the work, gas supplies are due to be turned off at a number of properties across Ditchling.

Spokesperson for SGN Lynne Edwardson said: “We are carrying out an essential upgrade to the gas network which will ensure a continued safe and reliable gas supply for the local area. This involves replacing old metal gas mains with new plastic pipe which has a life span of around 80 years.

“Our work which starts on Monday January 9 has been planned in conjunction with the local council and will last for approximately six to eight weeks.”

SGN insists the properties affected will only be without gas for one day but Virginia Lewis-Jones, 70, of Common Lane, Ditchling, does not agree with the timing of the replacement work.

She said: “The idea to upgrade gas networks across Ditchling in winter is beyond belief.

“We have a lady of almost 100 years of age living in our property. It could be highly dangerous for elderly people to be without heating at this time of the year.

“I feel sorry for elderly people who are living on their own. They won’t appreciate people coming in and out of their house to turn the gas off and on, let alone the cold temperatures.

“We totally understand the need for this work in terms of safety but we think the planning is terrible.

“We have a few warmer months in the summer where we don’t need to turn on our heating. This is when they should have undertaken the work.”

SGN said they will be supplying residents with electrical heaters and hot plates to keep them warm whilst the gas is turned off.

Lynne Edwardson added: “During our work, properties whose gas supply needs to be interrupted for a short time should only be without gas for one day.

“We will have heaters and hot plates available for anyone that requires them during the work. Our Customer Liaison Officer is visiting properties in the area which will be affected. If any other local residents have enquiries regarding our work the Project Manager can be contacted on 01444 240700.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience our work causes and would like to thank residents for their patience while we complete our essential work.”

Will you be affected by the upgrade to the gas network in Ditchling? Please send an email to our reporter stephen.wynn-davies@jpress.co.uk

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