Row over raw sewage
PUBLISHED: 08:51 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:22 15 June 2010
AN AXMOUTH resident and Seaton town councillor has hit back at criticism she is discharging raw sewage into the harbour saying she has been fighting to get a sewerage system put in place.
AN AXMOUTH resident and Seaton town councillor has hit back at criticism she is discharging raw sewage into the harbour - saying she has been fighting to get a sewerage system put in place.Pepita Collins, who has lived at the property for four years, said she had given £10,000 to South West Water (SWW) - and claims it is their responsibility to put in first time sewerage.She argues she had planning permission to do renovation on the building as long as she sorted out the sewerage system - but that she had met her end of the bargain.She said: "I would like to see SWW putting in a mains water and sewerage system. It's their responsibility and they haven't arranged anything to date."She said East Devon District Council had removed the obligation of no occupancy until the sewage problem was dealt with, and pointed out that the property - there since 1780 - had a license to discharge effluent into the river.The response comes after a call for an end to raw sewage being dumped into the harbour - after children allegedly collected waste in their fishing nets.Chris Chappell, of Seaton Tackle Shop, said he received numerous complaints from parents after he held a crabbing competition and children collected sewage in their nets.He said: "We should not have complaints about raw sewage. "This has been going on for three years or more. There were also rats and a lot of rubbish around there."But East Devon District Council and Devon County Council argue such a station would be out of keeping with a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.Axmouth Parish Council clerk Carol Miltenburg wrote to a number of organisations highlighting the condition of the water and urging a re-think on the planning application.She said it put people who used the beach at risk of contamination and could have a detrimental effect on tourism and the local economy.Speaking to the Herald, she said: "It seems they are more keen to have a nice wall than clean water."A spokesperson for SWW said Axmouth residents had requested a connection to their mains water and sewerage networks, but had had difficulty securing the appropriate site and planning permission.She said: "We are now reviewing the viability of connecting this service. "We will be liaising with residents over the coming weeks to progress the water mains connection, which may need to be completed separately. "We requested payment from the person who submitted the water mains application and it is now for the residents to decide how they divide the cost.