Dr Alison Hoyle, Director of Risk and Compliance for Southern Water, said: “We are committed to improving our environmental performance. We are spending £2 billion in the next four years on improving our pipes, pumping stations and sewers which is good for our customers, for the environment and the local economy.
“We know people expect us to be the custodians of this beautiful coastline. The incident at Hastings recently was as a result of a broken sewer pipe. It was very different from the unacceptable historic discharges that happened between 2010 and 2015 for which we were fined £90m. We are deeply sorry and pleaded guilty to all the charges in recognition of that fact.
"We worked closely with Hasting Borough Council, the local MP, the Environment Agency and Natural England to complete the repair and put right the harm caused by the release from the burst sewer. We continue to support beach hut owners to ensure their huts are restored to their previous state and replace any items damaged in the incident.
“We recognise public opinion about the use of storm overflows has changed and while they are a legitimate and highly regulated part of the sewer system, we know we need to go further and faster to reduce their use and their impact on the environment.
“We invite the Hastings and St Leonards Clean Water Action Group to meet with us, hear about our work, our investment and our commitment to improve service to our customers and discuss ways to work together to achieve a goal we share, to protect the environment.”