RESIDENTS of one of the UK’s fastest growing areas say it is like living in the Dark Ages as they face consistent issues with their utilities.

Locals of Sittingbourne, Kent, have seen a year-long water leak and power cuts as hundreds of newbuild homes have popped up in recent years.

Resident of Sittingbourne, Kent, say that persistent issues with electricity, water and phone signal have made life 'unbearable'


Resident of Sittingbourne, Kent, say that persistent issues with electricity, water and phone signal have made life ‘unbearable’Credit: Google Maps

Claire Gallagher, 50, told Kent Online that life in the village is “like being in the Dark Ages” amid issues with phone signal.

She said: “We always have drivers stopping and asking for directions because their sat navs stop working.

“The electricity has gone off around eight times during the last year.”

Meanwhile, a “dangerous” water leak has remained unaddressed for over a year as Southern Water have been unable to locate the issue.

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The water company attempted to detect the problem in three different ways, none of which managed to pinpoint where the leak is coming from.

Local councillor Roger Clark said: “It’s an absolute nuisance.

“There’s a huge hole in the road and it’s making it so difficult to drive in and out of the area.

“So it’s a real pain and means everyone in Iwade is being affected.”

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Some residents have even reportedly been left using diesel generators as power cuts left them in the dark for hours on end.

Local man Richard Leicester compared the noise from the machines to living next to an airport runway.

He fumed: “The constant on and off of the generators also blew household appliances including laptop chargers, pond pumps and mobile phone adapters leading to hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

“We are suffering directly as a result of living in a village which has seen the largest expansion in newbuild property builds in recent years.”

It comes as more than 400 new homes have been developed in the small rural area, which councillor Clark claims has made life “unbearable”.

A spokesperson for UK Power Networks said: “We apologise to residents in the Peach Blossom Drive area of Iwade for the recent interruptions to their supply.

“Following faults on an underground cable we have identified a defect on a section of cable and plans are being made to replace this to ensure reliable power supplies in the local area.

“It is possible some other sections of cable could be affected by the same issue and if this is confirmed, this will also be replaced in stages to increase the reliability of the network as quickly as possible.”

They added that the power supply to homes is managed by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) through a high voltage cable.

A spokesperson for the company said: “In line with our responsibilities as the independent distribution network operator for the housing estate in Iwade, which is fed by UK Power Networks high voltage network, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has supplied temporary generators to customers during the recent and previous faults on UKPN’s network.

“SSEN is in active discussions with UKPN to understand the timescales for long term repair of the defects on its network and explore any measures that would help mitigate impact to customers as this work continues.”

A Southern Water spokesperson said: “This complex repair requires a new fitting to be specially designed.

“Once complete it will also allow us to attach new leak detection technology so we can track down a leak on the network in the area which is proving very hard to find.

“We’re sorry for the disruption this has caused.”

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Persimmon Homes, who are responsible for a major development in the area, declined to comment.

Swale Borough Council declined to comment.

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