Parish Council News|

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Present: Cllr Ellam (Chair), 3 Local Parliamentary Candidates, 2 Representatives of Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA), Members of Corby Glen Parish Council (CGPC), Local residents

  1. Objective of the Meeting:
  • To provide a forum for local residents to share their issues with the unpleasant smell emanating from the drains on Swinstead Road and elsewhere in the village
  • To agree a way forward to resolve the situation.

  1. Introduction:
  • Cllr Ellam welcomed all and introduced the Parliamentary Candidates and Representatives of NCHA

  1. Apologies:
  • Apologies had been received from the Labour Parliamentary Candidate who had a prior engagement.

  1. List of those invited but have not responded:
  • Anglian Water, Allison Homes re the Orchards estate, David Wilson Homes (DWH) re the Pastures Place estate & South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) had all been invited to the meeting.
  • Anglian Water & DWH did not attend but had provided a statement.
  • Cllr Ellam had received no response from SKDC Environmental Health or Planning, despite repeated attempts.
  • Allison Homes had not provided a statement to Cllr Ellam but had provided one to another councillor.

  1. Anglian Water Statement from Hollie Temple:

“I have been liaising with our Drainage Management Team who have provided me with an update / statement to share with you.

“Our Drainage Team have confirmed that they are aware of the odour issues on Swinstead Road, Corby Glen following the connection of several developments in the area.

“We have been carrying out investigations, including odour logging at several locations close to these developments. Based on this, we have identified one of them causing a significant increase in hydrogen sulphide present in the public sewer when they discharge.

“We have been engaging with the development proactively to rectify the issue in their private Pumping Station. Regretfully, a change in main contractor on the developments side has caused a delay on resolving this with them. Having said this, we now understand that they have appropriate experts engaged, and are looking to put in place a solution to prevent the odour issues presently arising.

“I’m truly sorry for the disruption this has caused to local residents. If you have any further questions or concerns, you can contact me on 01522 341418 between 8:00am-4:00pm Monday to Friday.”

  1. DWH Statement:

“I have asked our engineers to comment on your query and they have come back to me with the below.

“Myself and Steve Wright visited the site on 23/05/24 to investigate the issue, in our investigation we opened manholes which our development discharge into down Swinstead Road and there is no evidence of any blockages or smells. I have also been to the pumping station and there is no evidence of an issue.

“I will continue to monitor the issue in future.

I hope this helps you.”

  1. Questions regarding the NCHA Development:
  • Why has the pumping station moved from the original planned location and been replaced with a smaller pump?
  • Have the sewers been designed using BS EN 12056?
  • Why was the attenuation pond been removed from the plan?
  • What are the condition numbers used in subsequent planning applications references? Where are they listed? (It seems that later applications are almost written in code.)
  • Maps & photos (Appendix A)
  • Bill for Anglian Water’s Technical Approval (Appendix B)

  1. Questions regarding the NCHA Development:
  • Why is the Orchard estate sewage draining into the Swinstead Road system and not routed through the manhole in Barn Owl Close. This would at least take some of the additional load down the Bourne Road sewer?
  • Excerpt from Allison Homes planning application showing the original intention to send sewerage out via Bourne Road near Barn Owl Close (Appendix C)
  • Photo showing sewerage manhole covers on the Orchard estate near Swinstead Road (Appendix D)

  1. Questions regarding planning compliance:
  • Why was completions certificate S23/1103 submitted then withdrawn by Modus Partners after being with SKDC planning for over 6 months without being approved?
  • Will there be another completions certificate approved? Should the completions certificate not be authorised before the houses are occupied?
  • How will all the sewers and other services be affected once the Orchard estate and Pastures Place are fully occupied?

  1. Final Thought:
  • In the event of another 144 houses being imposed on Corby Glen, will we see the same hands-off approach by Anglian Water and SKDC planning enforcement as we have been experiencing on this development, leaving the village to pick up the pieces? And have to fight for what was agreed in the original planning application?

  1. Response from NCHA:
  • NCHA regrets the situation and is actively working to identify the problem.
  • The pumping station is only connected to 10 houses and is more than adequate.
  • Although Modus, the original contractor, is no longer trading, NCHA are meeting with ex-Modus technical experts later in the week to discuss the situation.
  • The drainage strategy was approved by Anglian Water.
  • They believe that there are multiple issues contributing to the problem.

  1. Responses from Parliamentary Candidates:
  • Mr Miles read out a statement from the Labour candidate who was unable to attend.
  • All candidates present considered the situation unacceptable, and if selected as our next MP, will work actively with the community and all responsible parties to resolve the situation.

  1. Open Forum – the following views were expressed:
  • The situation is not the fault of the new residents (who feel distanced from the rest of the village).
  • The issue lies with SKDC, Anglian Water, the developer and the Building Inspectorate, from whom the development must have received sign off.
  • Residents of the NCHA development were assured that any expense incurred will not be passed on to residents via their maintenance charge.
  • NCHA residents have difficulty contacting staff within the organisation to get problems resolved.
  • A resident of the NCHA development reported sewerage coming up into their house.
  • When these developments were planned, the village had no Neighbourhood Plan in place. Now the Neighbourhood Plan has been ratified, this should give more leverage against future development.
  • SKDC councillors recently held a ‘surgery’ in Hattie’s Tea Room in the village. A councillor with responsibility for planning claimed to have no knowledge of the situation. Initially he was in contact with Cllr Ellam but soon stopped responding to emails. Despite his promise to investigate and report back, we have heard nothing positive.
  • One of the Parliamentary Candidates recommended forming a Residents’ Group, as this can be more effective in such situations than the Parish Council. And putting pressure on SKDC by formal, public and visible protests.
  • Involving the media – the press and / or local radio / TV – was suggested in order to escalate the situation and convince SKDC to take action.
  • SKDC has failed to enforce planning requirements in the past.
  • The issue is not only with responsibility, but who will actually fix the problem once the cause is established?
  • NCHA confirmed that although their original contractor is no longer trading, they will still deal with the situation.
  • The problem with the smell in exacerbated by the fact that the current manhole covers have holes and are not sealed.
  • In the past, video cameras had to be used to demonstrate that the drains were satisfactory before buildings were passed.
  • The fact that the ‘stench pipe’ opposite the school is in the wrong place contributes to the issue.
  • The statement form Allison Homes was read out:
    “I have spoken with Anglian Water inspector and customer services team and they have not received any reports of issues with our development in Corby Glen.

    “We have a live telemetry system in operation and we have checked the logs and there have been no reports of issues with our system.

    A suggestion that I can advise on is if Modus are using a sewerage treatment plant system on their development, it could be running its odour release cycle once a day and this could be creating the smell, but I don’t know the actual system, that is just my observation.

    We have asked Anglian Water to visit the area, check the systems, and advise if there are any issues in this area. I am currently awaiting a timescale for the visit.”
  • There is 1 pump on the Allison Home Orchard estate.
  • It is unclear whether Allison Homes originally intended to connect to the Bourne Road sewer, as the planning application states, and if so, why / when this was changed. It is understood that there was a cost associated with this option.

  1. Next Steps:
  • Make an official complaint to SKDC
  • Develop an Action Plan.
  • Collect Data and co-ordinate.
  • Take photos at every opportunity.
  • Get a petition.
  • 3 residents volunteered to help.
  • The Parliamentary Candidates are happy to advise / support.

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