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Health hazard 'negligible' from sewage pumping at mid Norfolk holiday park

PUBLISHED: 15:47 21 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:02 21 October 2016

Yaxham Waters

Yaxham Waters

Archant

An environmental health assessment of a holiday park in a mid Norfolk village has concluded that while the daily pumping of its sewage tanks causes some smell it is not a health hazard.

Concerns over Breckland’s draft plan

Yaxham’s Neighbourhood Plan working group told the parish council meeting this week that it had completed its documentation and had submitted it for independent assessment.

But NP4Yaxham chairman Maggie Oechsle urged members of the public to engage with the Breckland Local Plan consultation which ends at the end of the month particularly on the subject of Yaxham being defined as a local service centre which would open it up to more development.

“Organic growth of the village is welcome in the right places and we have to accept some change is necessary but not an estate development,”” she said.

A resident noted that the draft Local Plan provided by Breckland Council failed to mark key features, including the River Tud.

“The proposed Toftwood site is so close to the Tud, it is low lying and naturally very wet land but the draft does not show it,”” he said.

Others were concerned that the majority of preferred sites were to the south of Dereham which would impact on Yaxham and Mattishall.

* To comment on the emerging Local Plan go online at www.consult.breckland.gov.uk/portal.

Yaxham Parish Council asked Breckland Council’s team to look into the issue of sewage noise and smell at Yaxham Waters after concerns were raised by residents. Calls were also made for enforcement of the park’s 2008 planning condition to provide a private sewage treatment plant to serve its holiday lodges, caravans, and subsequent cafe.

At a parish council meeting yesterday the clerk read a letter from Breckland in which environmental health agreed “some gases were released...causing a rotten egg smell” during the pumping out of the tanks but it was “not enough to warrant action” and the health hazard was “negligible”. But it did advise the business to ensure windows and doors were closed in the café while the emptying of the tanks was in progress.

The committee and members of the public were also read a letter from Anglian Water stating that it had received a pre-planning enquiry from the owners of Yaxham Waters on August 8 for sewerage connection for a proposal of 80 dwellings, shop and café and had replied to the customer that there was insufficient capacity in the mains network. It was working on the situation and anticipated a delivery date of November next year for connection.

Before the meeting an Anglian Water spokesperson told the EDP: “Anglian Water received a request from Yaxham Waters to connect to mains sewerage in April 2016. Our teams have been working hard on a report into the drainage and sewerage network so we can design the best possible solution for the property. Before work can commence we must ensure the new sewerage connection does not impact on customers connected to the existing sewers in Yaxham. We are carrying out further surveying and modelling work to make sure this is case.”

Parish council chairman Peter Lowings said the committee would “continue to pursue this”.

Parish and district councillor Pablo Dimoglou, who co-owns Yaxham Waters, told the EDP after the meeting that he had been in discussion with Anglian Water for three years but “more vigourously” in the past six months.

“We have paid for three surveys and the next piece of the jigsaw is the hydraulic engineering report which we have been told is being done on November 16,” he said.

“After that we can go on to the next stage of planning connection to the pumping station.”

He added that in the early days of the park there were just a few lodges and caravans and the tanks only needed emptying about every six weeks. Due to the recession it had become financially unviable to install a sewage treatment plant. Now with 30 lodges on the park and further plans to expand he said he did not expect to get a discharge consent for a private treatment plant for the quantity of sewage going through.

“The Environment Agency’s preferred option has always been for us to connect to the mains,” he said. “Breckland Council is happy with the approach we are taking and we are coming up with the best solution and a win-win for the village.”

* What do you think? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.

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