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Concern for public health stirs authorities

A further meeting to that previously reported in the Summer issue of BV took place on 5th June 2017. Nicky Morgan MP chaired the meeting with representatives from Charnwood Borough Council (CBC), Severn Trent Water (STW), Environment Agency (EA) and Barrow Parish Council (BPC). Below is a summary of the meeting: the full report appears on the BRAG section of the village website. (Put ‘BRAG campaign’ into your internet browser). The meeting discussed the implications of adding the foul water discharge from a further 350 houses to the existing sewer system.

STW confirmed their position that Condition 9 (foul drainage) of the Jelson planning permission related to on-site and downstream drainage. CBC is taking legal advice to confirm that.

STW stated that there is a High Risk of Foul Flooding in the Sileby Road and Breachfield Road areas. This is the subject of study which will take some months to complete. In the meantime Condition 9 must not be discharged.

It was noted that Charnwood Borough Council had approved the foul drainage condition for the David Wilson site on Nottingham Road erroneously quoting permission received from the Environment Agency and never contacted STW to seek discharge of the foul drainage condition.

It was agreed that a phased occupation of the sites is not an option because there is a high risk of foul flooding now, without the addition of 350 more properties to the network.

In case it is not clear, the Wilson site and Jelson site use the same drainage network of pipes so their affect is additive and cumulative.

Charnwood Borough Council stated that given the high risk of foul flooding, the outcomes from ongoing studies not available and subject to legal advice it would be entirely appropriate for them to STOP OCCUPATION of the new properties on both sites.

Barrow Parish Council reiterated their disappointment felt in the planning process. They stated ‘’Parish councillors are not experts and rather rely on experts, Charnwood Borough Council/ STW etc. The issues raised would not have been addressed without the involvement of the Parish Council and it is the Parish Council’s view that the authorities had not previously recognised the issues faced and had therefore failed in their support to the community.


The statement made by Barrow Parish Council above is completely correct. The plain fact is that neither Jelson nor David Wilson should have been allowed to start their respective developments until it was certain that the foul-drainage system could cope and the drainage conditions were discharged by CBC on advice from STW.

Charnwood Borough Council takes the line that whilst the drainage system is not in use for new housing then no harm is done. Jelson were told that all works done without discharge of any conditions is ‘at their own risk’.

The Head of Borough Planning wrote, “It would be unreasonable to take (enforcement) action against Jelson in such circumstances when there is every prospect of a satisfactory outcome being achieved.” He can’t possibly know that, having previously told BRAG he is not an expert on drainage.

Who will pay for any infrastructure works required to the system to reduce the risk or even stop the risk of foul flooding? All off-site works are commissioned and funded by STW and this is a requirement of the Water Industries Act (1991). In other words, if you pay water rates, you pay for the infrastructure to stop any foul flooding as well!

Is there a time scale to any of the works? Estimated time scale to completion by STW is 2018/2019. That assumes there is a solution.

Is it necessary to install a replacement sewer through the barrel tunnel beneath the railway embankment where the brook runs through? The answer isn’t known at this time but the sewer pipe runs in there now. And would Network Rail agree to a larger pipe and the works needed to install it?

This report is written in July 2017. By the time BV arrives in mid-September then matters may have moved on. If so, updates will appear on the BRAG website.

Alan Willcocks.