More than 80 local people attended a public meeting in Alfriston to learn more about a project to replace 600 metres of old unreliable water main through the main village street.
Engineers from the water company displayed detailed plans at the War Memorial Hall on Tuesday evening (29 October) and asked villagers to raise any concerns about the scheme which is planned from January to June next year.
Residents and business owners made suggestions about the siting of road signage and said they were worried about the potential use of narrow country lanes by drivers unwilling to use the official diversion route.
They also stressed the need for any advertising about the work to highlight that Alfriston will be open for business as usual throughout the project which involves closing Alfriston to through traffic for around five months while still allowing local people and visitors full access to shops, cafes, restaurants and other businesses.
The two village car parks, The Dene and The Willows, will remain open during the work as will the coach park.
A diversion route on local A roads will be in force and South East Water is planning a major public information campaign using newspaper and radio advertising to alert motorists and lorry drivers to the closure of the narrow main road through the village used to access the A27.
Jeremy Dufour, Project Manager for South East Water, said: “We spoke to more than 80 people about our project at the drop-in session to gather feedback about our plans and answer residents’ questions. We are sharing that feedback with our contractors and with East Sussex Highways department which was also represented at the meeting.
“Although we expect the work to take around five months to complete, we will work as quickly and as safely as we can to finish the project with minimal disruption.
“We understand that roadworks are inconvenient and appreciate the understanding shown by customers at the consultation session.
“I would encourage residents to visit our website, corporate.southeastwater.co.uk/alfriston for more details about our plans and regular updates as the work progresses.”
The £550,000 scheme forms part of a £424 million investment by South East Water between 2015 and 2020.