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'More houses mean more sewage' - residents object to new homes after flooding woes

PUBLISHED: 17:03 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:01 11 October 2019

Sewage leaked into the standing water Picture: SAFE

Sewage leaked into the standing water Picture: SAFE

Archant

The "ongoing problem" of sewage mixing with floodwater in Fressingfield has demonstrated why housing development plans should not be approved, activists have said.

A sewer cover bursts open due to excessive flooding Picture: SAFEA sewer cover bursts open due to excessive flooding Picture: SAFE

Supporters Against Fressingfield Expansion (SAFE), a group opposed to new developments in the village, said heavy rainfall frequently causes council-maintained drains to overflow and spill into Anglian Water-maintained sewers.

Multiple planning applications for more than 200 new homes in Fressingfield have repeatedly been denied in the last year, with drainage and sewage a common sticking point.

SAFE's secretary Pamela Castro said: "Flooding and egress of sewage is a recurrent and long-standing problem in Fressingfield and is becoming more frequent.

"With climate change it will be even more of a problem. Last year it occurred on four occasions and last week it happened twice. More houses mean more sewage, which will exacerbate the problem."

Sewer covers have been unable to cope with flooding in Fressingfield Picture: SAFESewer covers have been unable to cope with flooding in Fressingfield Picture: SAFE

Fressingfield residents reported witnessing seven sewer manhole covers bursting open in rain on Sunday.

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Mrs Castro said drains in the village regularly become "overwhelmed" in periods of heavy rainfall, causing raw sewage to mix with flood water.

A highlighted issue of one denied proposal, for 24 homes, said: "The proposed development would exacerbate the existing flooding and pollution problem in the village during periods of heavy rainfall."

A flooded road in Fressingfield, with a sewage cover bursting open Picture: SAFEA flooded road in Fressingfield, with a sewage cover bursting open Picture: SAFE

Another refused application noted: "The proposed development is unlikely to be adequately serviced and would overburden existing infrastructure."

SAFE previously met with developers to voice their concerns regarding proposed developments in Fressingfield.

Mrs Castro said there may be more planning applications submitted for Fressingfield despite the refusals.

An Anglian Water spokesman said: "We are working closely with the local authorities who have responsibility for drainage in Fressingfield, which have become consumed with the sheer amount of water that fell over the weekend.

Three outlines of planning applications for new homes in Fressingfield, which were all denied Picture: GOOGLEThree outlines of planning applications for new homes in Fressingfield, which were all denied Picture: GOOGLE

"We are not aware of any damage to our pipes in the area, but our teams will continue to ensure our sewer network is running as it should, helping to take water away as quickly as possible."

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