Sewage stench puts stop to Stowmarket homes plan

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An application to build 52 homes and a doctors surgery in Stowmarket has been rejected following concerns about the ‘offensive’ odour from a nearby sewage works.

Pigeon Investment Management Ltd had put forward proposals to create a new residential development in Gun Cotton Way, which would also include a pharmacy and office.

The plans went before members of Mid-Suffolk District Council’s development control committee ‘B’ on Wednesday, but were refused.

This decision reflected the recommendation made by a report prior to the meeting, which cited concerns about the smell residents would be subjected to from the Stowmarket Sewerage Treatment Works, located to the south west of the site. It also stated the land was allocated for industry - to increase employment - not housing, in the local plan.

In a letter to the council David Harold, senior environmental health officer at Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Councils, said the smell from the sewage plant would have a detrimental impact on the lives of residents.

“Having regard to the offensive nature of sewage odour, I would conclude that there will be significant adverse effects on the quality of life of occupiers of the proposed residential development and no means of mitigating those effects,” said Mr Harold.

“I therefore would not support this application and would recommend refusal.”

Stowmarket Town Council had lodged its objection to the plans claiming the site was ‘wholly unsuitable’ for housing and was designated for commercial use.

Anglian Water, which operates the sewage plant, had also commented in the report that there were occasions during the treatment process of strong smelling emissions.

“We would therefore not recommend sensitive (residential) development on the site and would recommend for less sensitive development (compatible with the operations of the water recycling centre) only on the site,” the company said.

An application to build 66 homes on the land, to the south of Gun Cotton Way, was withdrawn last year.