Talks continue about Fernley Park, Uckfield, water run-off problem

Efforts are continuing to find a way of stopping the erosion of stream banks at the rear of Eagle Close on the Harlands Estate, Uckfield.

At one point there is only a metre of land between the boundary of number 12 Eagle Close and the Chalybeate Spring.Eagle Close sign

It is believed the stream, a tributary of the River Uck, has changed course as a result of surface water from the new housing development, Fernley Park, in Eastbourne Road, flowing into the Chalybeate Spring.

Uckfield Town Council which owns part of a strip of land to the rear of properties near the eroded land has been asked by residents to help.

The council is also keen to see a solution because they would like to have a continuous footpath link through its land to Framfield Road.

A report to the Environment and Leisure Committee on Monday said a meeting was held on-site and it was evident that it would be “totally impractical for a footpath to run from the pumping station along the rear of properties in Eagle Close to Uckfield Town Council land further along”.

The report said: “The flood plain and this piece of land next to 12 Eagle Close have always flooded in periods of excessive rainfall but have been drained by the Framfield Stream on the east, and the Chalybeate Spring channel on the west of this flood plain.

“Most of the water originally went down the Framfield Stream – where it is fed from land further upstream. The western arm was purely fed by local springs in the flood plain.

“The construction of the new estate on the Eastbourne Road has changed the dynamics of the water flow.

“The new surface water drain from this estate now diverts a major flow of water into the Chalybeate Spring arm that flows by 12 Eagle Close.

“It is this increase of water that has caused the change in the path of the Chalybeate Spring channel in several places but particularly past 12 Eagle Close.”

It was reported that Linden Homes, the developers of Fernley Park, said surface water from the estate flowed into the spring at a specified volume, the same volume as that flowing off the land prior to the development.

The owners of the flood plain, Torres de Mar, had sought permission to divert the water course, but the Environment Agency rejected the proposal due to the impact the loss of water would have on the water habitat.

Town councillors were told on Monday that two of the landowners, Torres de Mars and Gallaghers, developers of the Harlands Estate, were to have further discussions and report back to the council.

Councillors agreed that possible land encroachment issues in the area should be pursued and that the council should enter into negotiations with Torres de Mars and Gallagher Homes to discuss whether a boardwalk footpath through and across their land is a viable option.

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