COMMENT: Severn Trent and Slimbridge residents at loggerheads over sewage problems

HAVING to clear foul water and sewage debris from your garden or road is an unpleasant task and most would argue unacceptable considering the amount paid in water rates.

This is particularly relevant to Slimbridge resident Denis Bannister, who has resigned himself to isolating his house from the nearby sewage system and use a portable toilet in his own home.

There are also health concerns, with passing vehicles visiting the popular Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre spraying foul water off the roads and onto nearby houses, eventually running into the River Cam.

There is clearly a difference in opinion between the Severn Trent and homeowners. This much was made evident when Stroud District Council received 35 letters of objection to a housing development largely with concerns about the sewage system.

Planning permission was refused for a number of reasons including the ambiguous responses from Severn Trent and a lack of confidence that the current system could cope, despite Severn Trent insisting it could.

Indeed, the main bone of contention for residents appears to be that they do not believe the company has reacted appropriately to all their concerns and complaints dating back to the 90s.

It is however encouraging to see Severn Trent manager Craig Bayliss appear quite enthusiastic about meeting parishioners at a public meeting next week to find some middle ground on what can be done.

Hopefully this will start a new era of better communication and developments.

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