Patcham residents protested against controversial Royal Mail development

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Campaigners demonstrated against Royal Mail’s controversial plans to build a new delivery depot.

The Patcham Against Royal Mail (PARM) campaign group protested outside Brighton Town Hall yesterday because they claim the large-scale development risks water contamination, drinking water shortages and flooding.

Royal Mail plans to build the delivery office at Patcham Court Farm on Vale Avenue, a critical aquifer area that helps supply water to over 100,000 households in the city.

Conservative and Green councillors attended the protest. (Image: Patcham Against Royal Mail)

Paul Mannix, PARM member, said: “Like many Brighton residents, I am very disturbed that for the past four years, there have been over 280 sewage leaks in Patcham village.

“I joined other protesters outside Brighton Town Hall because we are worried about this issue and even more concerned that instead of fixing it, the problem will be considerably worse if Brighton and Hove City Council accept Royal Mail’s proposals to build a massive industrial depot in an area with creaking infrastructure and known flooding and sewage issues.

“Sightings of bubbling brown liquid, human poo, disintegrated toilet paper, and foul smells in the streets are becoming all too common in Patcham. Raw sewage has streamed into our streets, houses and school playing fields. Enough is enough.”

Royal Mail’s proposal has received over 1,100 objections for several reasons, including heritage concerns, air quality, light pollution and road safety issues.

Mike Howard, co-lead of PARM, said: “We are calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to drop Royal Mail’s terrible bid.

“If our council does not listen to the vast number of substantial objections that have accumulated, and it doesn’t listen to yesterday’s protestors, it runs the risk of knowingly gambling the health and well-being of the people of Patcham and the wider city.”

Parliamentary candidates attended the protest, including Sarah Webster from the Conservatives, Ashley Ridley from the Liberal Democrats and Citizen Skwith from the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

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The group claims that independent testing showed the presence of E. coli and other bacteria in flood water found in school playing fields in Patcham.

Mr Mannix said: “E. coli can make people and animals seriously ill. It’s a big concern that we regularly have infected water in public areas.

“We have heard stories of children wading through sewage water on their way to school and children getting ill after these sewage incidents occur.

“It is the stuff of nightmares that a 24/7 industrial mega depot might be dropped onto our sinking village. Royal Mail’s plans have to be stopped right away.”

Royal Mail was approached for comment.

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