There has been confusion over who is responsible for repairing a mains water leak at the junction of Windmill Lane and Eyhorne Street that has seen water trickling into the road since 4th November. However the problem appears to have been resolved as it seems likely that the leak will be repaired over the next few days.
The saga started with a gas leak in Windmill Lane on 5th April and on 13th September Southern Gas Networks (SGN) advised local residents that they would be relaying the gas pipe under Windmill Lane from 26th September and the work would take around two weeks. SGN’s Warwick Drawbridge stated that it would involve digging up sections of the Lane. In the event work continued up to 4th November when the water leak started. In the meanwhile as gestures of goodwill for the inconvenience caused,SGN connected the Village Hall with gas for the first time and paid £300 to Richard Phillips, the Chef/Patron of the Windmill PH for the interruption to his trade. Mr Phillips subsequently donated the money to the Hollingbourne Parish Council for the benefit of the village.
The water leak which appears to be coming from a water meter on the pavement outside of the Windmill PH was first reported to South East Water (SEW) on 4th November. An engineer was sent on 7th November who arranged for work to be carried out on 11th November. He surmised that the work by SGN has disturbed the water main.
On 11th November SEW sent a team who dug up the hole and left a barrier around the leak. Two lots of SEW representatives came on 14th November to clear the tarmac that had been left and then again to fill the hole. Another team from SEW came on 16th November to dig up the hole and put more tarmac down. They indicated that although the water was bubbling up on the pavement it was not the responsibility of SEW to repair the leak as the leak was under Windmill Lane which is a private footpath owned by Enterprises Inns PLC who are the landlords of the Windmill PH. They were not affected by the gas leak.
Following requests from local residents SEW have now agreed with SGN that they will dig the Lane up again over the weekend of 19th and 20th November to repair the leak. This will be their sixth visit to the site.
Pictured below (left) is the barrier around the the hole before the first infill of tarmac at the fourth visit on SEW on 14th November and (right) is the tarmac with the dividing line of cobbles between Windmill Lane and the Eyhorne Street pavement. On the left is SGN tarmac and on the right is SEW tarmac with the water flowing into the gutter and along Eyhorne Street.