Will Langford's Loft Farm development mean more raw sewage floods?
Villagers concerned that pumping station won't cope with new development
The Loft Farm development has come under fire from Langford residents who are concerned that flooding in the area will worsen if Anglian Water does not step in.
Villagers are concerned that the pumping station at the bottom of East Road will not cope if it is connected to the new 92-house development currently under construction by Bloor Homes.
Raw sewage is reported to have flooded several gardens and even homes during the winter, so families are not taking the situation lightly.
However, Anglian Water told the Chronicle that it has worked with Bloor Homes to develop "a viable drainage strategy".
One villager, who claimed that the flooding issue dates back to at least the 70s, alleged: "Regularly, Vicarage Close (this backs onto the new development) gets flooded with sewage as it did very badly this winter. It not only went on people’s driveways, gardens, road and footpaths but inside people's homes.
"This is raw sewage, which is clearly a serious health issue. The problem was due to the pumping station at the bottom of East Road not having enough capacity and so Anglian Water had to assist by taking daily tanker loads of sewage to relieve the pressure.
"Meanwhile, for over a month we had sewage everywhere. The Loft Farm development’s sewage will go into this pumping station and yet Anglian Water has told CBC that there is capacity and blaming it on people’s extensions!
"The issue in Vicarage Close has been there for a long time - before anyone had extensions - and we all have a right to live without sewage pouring down our drives and into our homes."
An Anglian Water spokesman said: “In our initial written report to the Local Planning Authority we stated our concerns that the development at Loft Farm, Langford would pose an unacceptable risk of flooding.
“As such, a planning condition was applied to the site requiring that the applicant provides a strategy to ensure that the development will not have an impact on our existing network. We have since worked directly with Bloor Homes to develop a viable drainage strategy, which includes additional waste water storage for the development and equipment that allows us to control the rate of flow into the existing network, reducing the risk of flooding to protect our existing and future customers.”
The spokesman added: "The flooding we saw earlier this year in pockets across our region was caused by persistent rainfall on already saturated land – the most rainfall we’ve seen in our region in 100 years over December and January. Groundwater levels were the highest we’ve ever seen resulting in our sewer network becoming inundated by the excess water. There was no specific issue with our network and our pumping stations continued to work flat out throughout this period and we also used tankers to help take some of the excess water away."
Anglian Water would also like to remind residents that is not a statutory consultee to planning applications. However, it actively engages in the planning process and assesses the impact of a development on its existing assets and the foul and surface water network at the time of a planning application.