RESIDENTS in Taw Hill are remaining resolute in their opposition to plans to install several sewage tanks in the ground next to their homes.
Thames Water wants to place two tanks at either end of Queen Elizabeth Drive to deal with excessive water during heavy rains and to increase the capacity of the network ahead of the Tadpole Farm development.
The firm held a drop-in session last week, which was attended by many of the residents who are angry that the company appeared not to have given serious consideration to other sites.
The plans were first unveiled last summer and, after initial objections, the firm said it would re-examine them. But in the end only minor alterations were made.
Thames Water said it was not yet in a position to say whether it was looking at altering its plans, but the feedback received at the session is being reviewed.
However, the residents believe the company has already made its decision to use Queen Elizabeth Drive.
David Parkinson, 50, said: “I think the meeting confirmed what we had always suspected and that is no matter what any of the people living near the proposed site said, they were never going to put it anywhere else.
“As one of the contractors at the meeting said, Queen Elizabeth Drive is the most economically viable option.
“We have suggested a site on the other side of Thamesdown Drive, but that has been ruled out because it is deemed to close to electric cables. Well if that is the case, then surely they have to rule out Queen Elizabeth Drive because it is just as close to some of the houses.”
Residents are concerned that when the tank is full it will overflow and the gases will create an odour when they are vented.
The disruption during construction is also a worry. As it stands, planning permission would only need to be obtained for small parts of the development because the tanks are located underground.
David said: “At the meeting they said the flood and smell definitely won’t happen.
“We want to know if Thames Water will provide compensation if they do occur, as they have on two occasions elsewhere in the country.
“When we asked them whether they would have what is effectively a cesspit that close to their home, it was very telling that none of them could answer.
“I want the council to issue an Article 14 Direction which would mean the decision would have to go before the full planning committee and we would have to hear the full reasons as to why the other sites have been discounted.
“Everyone is determined not to let this happen.”
A Thames Water spokeswoman said: “Wednesday’s drop-in session was a good opportunity for us to listen to residents’ concerns and we’re now in the process of reviewing their feedback.
“We’ll continue to keep them informed of our decisions. ”