Sewer protestors kick up a stink over plans

Sunday 21st April 2013 10:00 pm
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RESIDENTS living in the Grosvenor Road area of Abergavenny are angry over plans to install a temporary sewage treatment plant.

At last week's meeting of Abergavenny Town Council members heard residents' arguments against the scheme, claiming that it did not meet British Standard regulations as well as infringing on their neighbouring properties.

Welsh Water is scheduled to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant serving the area by April 2014.

When Monmouthshire planners granted planning permission for the eight housing association homes in March 2012 the authority made it a condition that any interim measure for a private treatment plant should only be installed provided it met the requisite British Standard.

The protestors point out that the proposed plant would not satisfy these conditions as it would be located too close to residential properties.

Richmond Road resident Peter Woodley, a chartered surveyor and spokesman for the local people said that the proposal for the temporary sewage treatment plant in a highly built up residential area contradicts the guidelines used by Monmouthshire County Council.

He added,"The proposed site of this plant would not be allowed in urban areas, so why is it being put here?

"For a start the Environment Agency has said that waste water plants should not be built within a set distance from residential housing. This is clearly not the case here as it is proposed to site the plant within 1.5 metres of a property in Richmond Road.

"Additionally we feel the construction of the retaining wall to raise the level of the building site has interfered with existing tree roots.

"We also question the need for the treatment plant at all as Welsh Water have committed themselves to completing the upgrade by next April. It will cost a lot of money to install the plant and for what? Nine months usage?

"Purchasers of these homes may benefit from buying an affordable home but will they be expected to pay for the cost of removing the plant within three months of Welsh Water completing their upgrade?"

Councillor Paul Wadsworth told the protestors that the town council were only consultees when it came to planning applications and could only make recommendations.

The other residents pointed to a multitude of other issues, including the wider impact on residential amenity, flooding, health and safety, the existing state of foul drainage.

Mr Woodley concluded, "We now have eight dwellings built on our boundaries, several metres up in the air with substantial land fill and engineering works that have huge ramifications for residents within the area as well as the ongoing sewage issue.

"This is not just a matter about development in our 'back garden' but centres around a very serious issue that affects us all. And as residents we are desperately hoping that some satisfactory resolution can be achieved at this late stage."

Councillor John Prosser, the local member, said that residents feared additional flooding problems if a temporary treatment plant were to be installed and added: "It's obvious local people have raised some very good points which have been well researched.

"I believe the residents have compiled a comprehensive case against the scheme which must meet the regulations as stipulated by British Standards before it is implemented."

Abergavenny councillors recommended rejecting the application on the grounds that it doesn't meet the required regulations. The planning authority will consider the town council's response when the application is debated in due course.

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