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Sink Hole at the Recreation Ground.  Latest Update 6th June 2024


Works have begun by Southern Water to resolve the sinkhole issue on the Rec. The underlying issue has been identified as a broken sewage pipe running under the Rec that connects pipes on Lewes Road with the main sewer which runs under the public footpath to Streat. Excavation is currently underway to reach the pipe and replace it. Pumps will be running on an ongoing basis to keep the waste moving and avoid any further build-up. As part of the work, video cables will be used to review the existing pipe network under the Rec and identify any other issues or potential weaknesses.
Repair works are expected to run through until the end of next week (14th June) - depending on the issues uncovered. Once the pipes are repaired, Southern Water will be carrying out reinstatement works to recover the ground to its original state. This is likely to take a longer period, and the area that is currently fenced off will need to be dug up and re-turfed, along with any vehicle damage marks.
During this time, residents should not enter the fenced-off areas of the Rec Ground and its car park. We'll provide further updates as we get them from the team on the ground.

 

We have received the following advice from the UK Health Security Agency and works have begun to rectify the damage on the recreation ground.  Whilst the area affected has been cordoned off, the remainder of the ground can be used with care.

Safe play areas

· Residents should be advised not to let young children play on affected grassed or paved areas until they have been cleaned down and restored to their normal condition. Sunlight and natural processes in soil help destroy harmful bacteria and any excess risk to health should disappear within a number of weeks. In the meantime, residents should be advised to wash their hands with warm water and soap as it is the best way of protecting health during the recovery phase.

Sports and recreational fields

· In the course of flooding in the UK, sports playing fields and pitches can become inundated with floodwater that may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals (normally at low concentrations). Many affected sports fields have been subject to flooding regularly over recent years and as a result have deliberately been sited on land in floodplains that cannot be used for development. During the recovery phase it is important to assess whether there may be any public health implications from contamination on these pitches after the floodwater has receded and drained away.

· Normal soil on playing fields and pitches will contain bacteria and fungi, some of which are usually associated with sewage. Testing the soil for contamination will not add any useful information when assessing the risk to public health. Risks cannot be completely eliminated and some pathogens may survive in low numbers in soil for some weeks. The risk of infection therefore remains low, and people using these pitches are routinely advised to take basic hygiene precautions (including washing hands after playing, before eating or drinking, thoroughly washing cuts incurred on the field with clean water, covering cuts before playing and keeping their tetanus immunisation up to date). Any additional micro-organisms deposited by the floods could be expected to decay rapidly as the pitch dries out in sunlight.

· Where sports fields and pitches have been flooded, gross contamination (litter carried in by the flood) should be removed. Protective clothing such as waterproof boots, plastic aprons and gloves should be worn while cleaning up, and any open cuts should be covered with waterproof plasters. Hands should be cleaned with soap and warm water after being in contact with floodwater or items that have been contaminated and particularly before eating or preparing food. Following this, the appropriate action to return the pitch to a good playing condition should be carried out according to the local council’s advice.

Thank you for your patience. 

 

 

About this Website

Here you can find out how the parish council is serving the community, as we attempt to improve the quality of life in the parish, and work to represent the interests of its residents.

The site aims to provide our community with easy access to the minutes of council meetings and information about council initiatives, work and projects. The council is here to serve you and try to make a difference for the better.

The parish is about 10km long and 1.6 km wide with a population of just over 2,000 in around 880 dwellings. It is centred around Ditchling village which lies at the foot of the South Downs in the South Downs National Park. The ancient settlement stands around a crossroads, with Brighton to the south, Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath to the north, Keymer and Hassocks to the west, and Lewes to the east. It is built on a spur of land between the Sussex Downs and the Sussex Weald. One of the highest points on the South Downs, Ditchling Beacon, overlooks the village.

The village is probably best known for its contribution to the early 20th century Arts and Crafts Movement and for being the home of the late Dame Vera Lynn. Eric Gill, the sculptor and typeface designer, and his apprentice Joseph Cribb came to Ditchling in 1907 and were soon followed by other craftspeople. In1921 the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic, a Roman Catholic community of artists and craftspeople, was founded a few miles north of Ditchling village on Ditchling Common, inspired by ideals of the medieval craft guilds. The legacy of the Guild led to the creation of the award-winning Ditchling Museum of Art+Craft, opened in 2013.

The clerk can be contacted at parishoffice@ditchling-pc.gov.uk or 01273 844733 during office hours on Tuesday to Thursday.

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1-3 Ditchling Gardens (Formerly the Scout Hut)

The Parish Council is exploring options for the use of 1-3 Ditchling Gardens (Formerly the Scout Hut)

See here for a summary of the current situation. 

Update (January 2024) 

The initial report is available here.

INITIAL REPORT 

Ditchling aerial shot

Ditchling Village Association

The Ditchling Village Association (DVA) co-ordinates the activities of the various clubs and societies in the village and promotes co-operation between all sections of the community.

Ditchling.com