Sewage system for Three Oaks set for approval

Three Oaks
Three Oaks

Plans for a wastewater treatment works at Three Oaks could be approved next week.

Southern Water is bidding for permission for the works and a new access from Butcher’s Lane along with a pumping station and lay-by off Fourteen Acre Lane.

These new facilities would cover all waste water flows within the village as households currently rely on private drainage systems.

Officers have recommended the application be approved, but members of East Sussex County Council’s Planning Committee will have the final say at a meeting next Wednesday (October 14).

The officers’ report explains that ‘it has been evident for some time that pollution has been occurring in the village due to failing private drainage systems’.

Rother District Council applied to Southern Water to provide a public sewerage system back in 1996 but this was rejected in 1998.

The council then went to the Environment Agency (EA), which concluded that to address pollution risk in Three Oaks, a sewerage system should be built.

However having mandated that a new facility should be built, the EA originally objecting to the application as the site is partly located within a zone that has a ‘high probability of flooding’.

The agency argued that the plans did not demonstrate that the development would not increase flood risk elsewhere.

But it has now removed its objection following amendments to the application’s Flood Risk Assessment.

Three Oaks Village Hall has objected to plans on the grounds that it could lose money due to noise and odour from the treatment works, and has argued that the existing screening will not be sufficient in winter.

Southern Water says it has looked at two alternative sites but both are susceptible to flooding, while one of the landowners is unwilling to release his land.

Although there is no legal power to force householders to connect to the new system if the existing systems are found to be causing pollution, they can be served with an enforcement notice by Rother District Council’s environmental health officer.

This would require them to repair or replace their system or connect to the new public sewerage system.

What do you think of proposals? Comment below or email the newsdesk.

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