Villagers’ fury over AW river sewage bid

ONE of the smallest villages in Suffolk is preparing to take on the might of Anglian Water over its plans to pump sewage directly into one of the county’s most attractive rivers.

A public hearing is to be held later this week after Anglian Water launched a legal challenge to the refusal by the Environment Agency to allow it to pump sewage into the River Deben at Kettleburgh, near Framlingham.

The inquiry has sparked fury among villagers, who say they were not consulted on the plans, which they believe could have a massive impact on water quality and wildlife.

David Harris, chairman of the parish council, said: “People are extremely angry.

“For a serious step like this to be taken by the water company without the community having been given any information and no consultation processes having taken place is astonishing.

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“I only found out the news by chance while talking to a local farmer.”

He said the move had prompted anger in the village.

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“Residents believe that it is totally unacceptable that they have been kept in the dark over this appeal by Anglian Water.

“They are also totally against sewage being pumped into the river.

“Clearly it is the responsibility of the company to ensure that we have a water supply and waste disposal system fit for purpose in the 21st Century, particularly as we all pay such a high price for this service.

“We would like to know how the plan to pump sewage into the Deben can possibly be in the interests of the community – who are, after all, Anglian Water’s customers.

“This will have profound consequences for water quality and for river wildlife.”

The application for sewage discharge consent was advertised on November 5, 2008, but was refused by the Environment Agency in February last year.

An appeal by Anglian Water against this decision was made to the Planning Inspectorate last May and the public hearing on the matter is to be held at Seckford Hall on Thursday.

No one from Anglian Water was available to comment on the issue.

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