Concerns over sewage treatment plant planning application in Wimbish

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 September 2020

The proposed sewage treatment plant site in Debden Drive, Wimbish is opposite homes. Photo: Christopher Davison

The proposed sewage treatment plant site in Debden Drive, Wimbish is opposite homes. Photo: Christopher Davison

Christopher Davison

Residents in Wimbish are concerned about a plan for a sewage treatment plant opposite their homes.

The site of the proposed sewage treatment plant site in Debden Drive, Wimbish, opposite homes. Photo: Christopher DavisonThe site of the proposed sewage treatment plant site in Debden Drive, Wimbish, opposite homes. Photo: Christopher Davison

The majority of the small treatment plant, also known as a package treatment plant, will be underground.

But the site is opposite homes in Debden Drive and the plans are for 4m floodlights which would be at bedroom window level, a 6m communications aerial and the new compound plans to be surrounded by a 1.8m metal fence.

The planning application by Annington Homes Ltd has been submitted to Uttlesford District Council.

Christopher Davison has organised a petition against the application, and said neighbours had been unaware of the plan.

He is concerned it will impact residents of Debden Drive, Water Lane, Rowney Avenue and homes further down the river.

He is worried that grass and trees will be concreted over, the floodlights will be intrusive, and that water discharged into the River Pant will cause problems to homes further downstream.

“There are curently 25 privately owned homes on the estate and the rest are owned by the MoD but it will also affect residents in Water Lane who are private home owners. There is already a facilty a mere 100 metres from the homes that causes no disruption and the need to build a new one is outragous,” he said.

A resident living downstream of the proposed plant has asked the planning authority for more information, as the River Pant goes past their home into an open ditch and continues along Elder Street, which regularly floods.

Ward councillor Stewart Luck held a socially distanced meeting with residents to see the site for himself.

He has asked the council’s planning department to call it to a planning committee for determination if they recommend the plan should be approved. Cllr Luck has also been in touch with applicant Annington Property Ltd, which owns some of the properties near the plant, rents them to the MoD, and charges a management fee to households who own their homes on the site.

Uttlesford District Council is considering the application, with a target determination deadline of September 22.

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A spokesman for Annington said: “When Annington sold the houses to private purchasers in 2002, Annington created a Resident Management Company to, among other things, manage the Base Dependent utility supply from the MoD. After 2021, those properties can no longer rely on supply from the Base.

“Annington have employed a firm of Consulting Engineers to look at options and prepare plans. A prerequisite is that the works are adoptable by the incumbent Sewerage Undertaker, so that the Management Company and Residents are not encumbered with the cost of running and maintaining any infrastructure.

“There are only two feasible options to achieve this; either a pumping station with long off-site rising main to connect to the public sewerage network; or a package treatment plant. The nearest public sewer is c2.5km away, which would in itself cause significant issues so we have taken the decision to submit a planning application.

“The lights to which residents refer would not be in regular use and we don’t believe they would be a hinderance. They are purely for operational safety in case of an ‘out of hours‘ issue.”


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