Sewage brought into Breckland Council’s latest meeting

Councillor Alison Webb brought in the sewage to the planning meeting. Picture: Ian Burt

Councillor Alison Webb brought in the sewage to the planning meeting. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A councillor has kicked up a stink in the latest twist in an ongoing planning row by carrying jars of sewage into a council meeting.

In what may well have been a first for Breckland Council's planning committee, councillor Alison Webb produced the specimens to show what had come up from the sewers during heavy rain, near to the Etling View estate in Dereham.

Developer Taylor Wimpey has applied to build an additional 62 homes on land adjacent to its 226 dwelling development.

However concerns have been raised about the impact of the scheme on local sewerage with residents complaining of sewage leaking on to roads from manhole covers.

The company had also applied to change the conditions for disposing of sewage from its Etling View site, which originally had been stored before being transported to Mattishall. However, recently the site had been connected to Dereham Waste Water Treatment Works rather than the Mattishall works as set out in the application, which locals said had caused problems.

Mrs Webb, a ward representative for Dereham, said: 'I brought in two jars of what was leaking up.

'It made everyone sit up and I hope it made them realise that the repairs Anglian Water had done were not going to work and make them realise they had to go back to the drawing board.

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'If an inch of summer rain can do that it is never going to cope with winter rain.

'The pipeline to Mattishall is the only proper measure to get it solved and until then I shall be fighting every housing application that comes in for Dereham because the sewerage can't cope.

'There are children going to school, to the shops and its environmentally unacceptable to have it leaking.'

Fellow Dereham councillor and planning committee member William Richmond told the meeting the situation was unacceptable.

He said: 'We have not got anywhere near saying yes to this and we won't until we are content that this can be sorted for the people of Dereham.

'We keep hearing that they can deal with it but that clearly isn't the case. Why is it taking so long to work towards the Mattishall solution?

'It has taken six years and this is not the only development in the pipeline.'

Anglian Water, which was represented at the meeting, said it accepted a growth scheme was needed and had a strategy which was being implemented to increase capacity, however it is unlikely to be completed until 2018.

Breckland has received more than 430 objections to the scheme.

Despite the concerns the scheme was recommended for approval by council officers, however after hearing of the impact of heavy rainfall on Tuesday planning committee members decided to visit the site themselves before taking the decision.

What do you think? Write to doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk