• ‘Serious risk’ that Feniton sewers would be unable to cope

    23rd August 2012 | News | Claire
  • In an email from SWW legal representative Alison Langmead to EDDC’s lawyers on 26 July, she spells out the consequences of building more houses in Feniton without first upgrading the sewage system.

    The email was in response to the Wainhomes appeal inquiry for 50 houses, which took place a couple of weeks ago.

    Ms Langmead’s email is technical but certain paragraphs are stark in their warning:

    She said:  “There can be no doubt as to the principle of sewerage inadequacy – and its potentially serious consequences – as a material planning consideration.”

    “The LPA (EDDC) has been made aware that there is a serious risk that, should this development be allowed to proceed without securing the necessary investigations and improvements first, the foul sewer network would be unable to cope.  Further resultant flooding would occur, including flooding of the public highway with foul sewage.

    Ms Langmead adds:  “There should be no confusion that the increased demand of this development would be likely to lead the public foul sewer network to surcharge, with resultant flooding of foul sewage.  Please ensure that the (Planning) Inspectorate is again made aware that, unless the necessary improvements are funded and secured in advance of the development, this development would remain unacceptable and contrary to policy.”

    Ms Langmead also expresses surprise and concern that EDDC did not list inadequate sewerage as a reason for refusal for the application. 

    The representation makes for sobering reading and raises questions about a planning application for 32 houses in the centre of the village, which will come forward for a decision following the results of the Wainhomes inquiry, in a few weeks.

    Another developer interested in Feniton – Strategic Land Partnerships – which applied (and was refused) to build 120 houses on land next to Ottery Road (half of which is in my ward) still appears to be waiting in the wings for another chance.  SLP appears to now own much of Feniton and even made representations against Wainhomes at its recent inquiry.

    Incidentally, Wainhomes was quoted in today’s Express & Echo, during a story entitled ‘developers laying siege to our village’ carrying an interview with Feniton Action Group’s Dr John Withrington and Val Jones, who express their concerns about their village being targeted by developers and the risk of further flooding, in a community already with a major flooding problem.

    Strangely, in the article the Wainhomes spokesperson claimed that EDDC supported its application.  This is likely to come as a surprise to EDDC’s planning department, which spent an entire week with their legal team, fighting Wainhomes appeal inquiry!

    Photograph:  Ottery Road under water last autumn.