Concerns Raised Over Sewage and Royal Mail Plans in Patcham

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Campaigners in Patcham have voiced apprehensions over potential sewage contamination and flooding risks associated with the Royal Mail’s proposed plans, stirring debates at a recent “Re-imagine Brighton” event hosted by the Brighton and Hove City Council.

The gathering, initially slated for Patcham, was relocated to Robert Lodge in Whitehawk. Nonetheless, Patcham residents, accompanied by local councillors, attended to express their reservations.

At the heart of their concerns lies the Royal Mail’s proposal for a depot at Patcham Court Farm, which campaigners fear could compromise Brighton and Hove’s drinking water supply. They argue that existing sewage issues in Patcham could exacerbate if the development proceeds, citing overstretched sewage infrastructure.

Members of the “Patcham Against Royal Mail” group highlighted the abrupt venue change as potentially indicative of the council’s reluctance to address flooding and associated health risks in Patcham and surrounding areas like Woodingdean, Mouslecoomb, and Hollingbury.

A spokesperson for the campaigners underscored the gravity of the situation, emphasising the need for immediate action. They criticised the council for seemingly disregarding environmental health risks posed by sewage leaks, stressing the necessity to halt Royal Mail’s plans.

The campaigners referenced a flood risk assessment conducted by consultancy firm Mott MacDonald, which warned of a significant increase in impermeable area at Patcham Court Farm if the depot project proceeds. This, they argue, would compound existing flooding issues and strain the already overburdened sewer network.

Patcham Court Farm, designated as a “zone 1 source protection zone,” plays a crucial role in groundwater absorption and is proximate to the Waterhall Pumping Station, serving as a vital part of the drinking water protected area for over 116,000 households in Brighton and Hove.

Data obtained from Southern Water revealed over 280 sewage leaks in Patcham since 2020, averaging at least one incident per week. Concerns were further amplified by an independent assessment detecting e-coli in Patcham Junior School’s waterlogged playing field following heavy rainfall.

Residents in Patcham have reported unpleasant odours and sickness bugs among children after rainy spells, heightening fears of escalating health hazards should Royal Mail’s depot plans proceed.

In response, the Royal Mail pledged to implement measures safeguarding the aquifer, subject to approval by Southern Water, prior to commencing depot construction.

A spokesperson for the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board acknowledged the concerns raised during the Re-imagine event, assuring residents that their feedback would be shared with relevant stakeholders. They underscored the council’s commitment to addressing environmental health issues and fostering community engagement in decision-making processes.

The Patcham community’s apprehensions reflect broader concerns over urban development’s environmental impact and the imperative to balance economic interests with public health and environmental conservation.

As deliberations continue, stakeholders must collaborate transparently to devise sustainable solutions that mitigate risks while advancing the city’s developmental agenda.

Elliot Preece
Elliot Preece
Founder | Editor Elliot is an experienced journalist manager with a passion for writing. He played a pivotal role in building the News Write Ups website as a web developer and has since been leading the team of journalists to produce high-quality content. With his strong background in writing and web development, Elliot ensures that the website not only functions smoothly but also provides engaging and informative articles for readers.

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