Residents in Selsey say sewerage works are making their lives ‘hell’, with pictures falling from walls and access issues to their homes.
Graham Hibbert, who lives in Beach Road, said the trench dug by Southern Water outside his home was about five metres deep, three metres wide and around 20 metres long.
The water company stopped work after complaints of homes shaking and installed monitoring equipment in houses.
Mr Hibbert said he and his neighbours were now concerned about any potential damage to their homes and the fact they would not be able to use their driveways for several weeks. He said it had made their lives ‘hell’ adding: “It’s shaken our houses to bits.”
Catherine Wilkinson said she was staying nearby with her mother, who had dementia and was frightened by the house shaking.
“We came down at half term and we couldn’t believe what was going on. When they say sewerage work you think of a two inch pipe, not a five metre hole, things that could swallow a double decker bus quite easily, and right outside the house,” she said.
“We’ve had things fall from shelves. [The house] was built with flooding in mind, not seismic activity.”
A Southern Water spokesman apologised for the disruption installing the deep sewer as part of its £2million bathing water improvements. The company and its partners have pledged £2,000 to a local charity in recognition of the inconvenience caused.
He said: “Having completed two-thirds of the project, we were alerted to potential issues as a result of vibrations. We immediately stopped work in order to carry out investigations, including taking advice from, and on-site monitoring by, vibration experts.
“We are now trialling a new way of working in order to minimise vibrations and disturbance and we will only continue with the work once our monitoring has shown we are working within appropriate guidelines.
“We’ve worked closely with customers and the local council throughout and will continue to do so until this complex but essential sewer installation is complete.”
He said the company had also arranged for alternative parking for residents affected free of charge at the nearby East Beach car park. A local church has also kindly agreed to make a number of parking spaces available, he said.