Bramley Sewerage, April 2019

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Below you will find the online copy of a letter written on behalf of Bramley Parish Council by Cllr. Malcolm Bell,  in which concerns have been raised about the sewage & waste infrastructure within the Parish.  A downloadable version of the letter can be found at the bottom of the document.


Bramley Parish Council is very concerned that the Sewerage Infrastructure and Waste water disposal is insufficient to cope with the increase in housing in Bramley. Recently permission has been given for 200 houses on Minchens Lane ( now in the final stages of completion), 50 houses on the Land North of Sherfield Road ( Houses started building ) and the 65 houses on the land South of the Street and the corner of Cufaude Lane ( Initial houses built). 

We will examine each site individually and the comments and approval given to progress with these houses.

1)      200 houses at Minchens Lane. 14/01075/OUT

Planning was agreed at Committee on the 3rd December, 2014 and conditions applied.

Condition 15 was concerned with surface water drainage and Condition 16 the sewerage system. Condition 16 stated:- 

 “No development approved by this permission shall be commenced until a detailed scheme for the improvement of the existing sewerage system has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local authority. The scheme shall be implemented as approved. No occupation of dwellings approved by this permission shall occur until the scheme for improvement of the existing sewage system has been completed.

REASON: Ensure sufficient capacity is made available to cope with the new development and there is no detrimental impact on water quality arising from changes in quality/quantity of treated sewage discharges.  The sewerage service provider has highlighted existing sewer capacity issues within the vicinity of the proposed development. 

This was as a result of the Consultees letter from Thames Water. 

Phase 1 was started and completed, 57 houses, with this hanging over the development. 

Phase 2:-
For phase 2 of this development, 54 dwellings, then Thames water as Consultees made comments on the 7th November 2016 and the 6th April 2017 confirming the concern about the capacity of the Sewerage Infrastructure:-

Waste Comments:-Following initial investigation, Thames Water has identified an inability of the existing waste water infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this application. Should the Local Planning Authority look to approve the application, Thames Water would like the following 'Grampian Style' condition imposed. "Development shall not commence until a drainage strategy detailing any on and/or off site drainage works, has been submitted to and approved by, the local planning authority in consultation with the sewerage undertaker. No discharge of foul or surface water from the site shall be accepted into the public system until the drainage works referred to in the strategy have been completed".

REASON:- The development may lead to sewage flooding; to ensure that sufficient capacity is made available to cope with the new development; and in order to avoid adverse environmental impact upon the community. Should the Local Planning Authority consider the above recommendation is inappropriate or are unable to include it in the decision notice, it is important that the Local Planning 

Authority liaises with Thames Water Development Control Department (telephone 0203 577 9998) prior to the Planning Application approval. 

Supplementary Comments

WASTEWATER: A sewer impact study (SMG 1294 G4027) was completed in October 2014 and concluded that network improvements are required to accommodate the whole site consisting of 200 new dwellings. The applicant is requested to contact Thames Water Developer Services to agree a drainage strategy for the whole site, as well as agreeing a strategy for each phase.

The Officers report stated in recommending approval for this phase: - Requires a drainage strategy

Phase 3:- Only 6 houses, no Thames water consultation!

Phase 4:-
This is the final phase for 83 dwellings and again Thames water consultees made the following comment on the 14th May, 2018 :-

Waste Comments: - Following initial investigations, Thames Water has identified an inability of the existing foul water network infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this development proposal. Thames Water have contacted the developer in an attempt to agree a phasing and infrastructure strategy for foul water but have been unable to do so in the time available and as such Thames Water request that the following condition be added to any planning permission. No properties shall be occupied until confirmation has been provided that either:-all wastewater network upgrades required to accommodate the additional flows from the development have been completed; or-a housing and infrastructure phasing plan has been agreed with Thames Water to allow additional properties to be occupied. Where a housing and infrastructure phasing plan is agreed no occupation shall take place other than in accordance with the agreed housing and infrastructure phasing plan.

 REASON: -The development may lead to sewage flooding and network reinforcement works are anticipated to be necessary to ensure that sufficient capacity is made available to accommodate additional flows anticipated from the new development. Any necessary reinforcement works will be necessary in order to avoid sewer flooding and/or potential pollution incidents.” The developer can request information to support the discharge of this condition by visiting the Thames Water website https://developers.thameswater.co.uk/Developing-a-large-site/Planning-your-development. Should the Local Planning Authority consider the above recommendation inappropriate or are unable to include it in the decision notice, it is important that the Local Planning Authority liaises with Thames Water Development Planning Department (telephone 0203 577 9998) prior to the planning application approval

Bramley Parish Council was in touch with Thames water in the production of the Neighbourhood Plan and the contact we had was a Mark Matthews, the Local and Regional Government Liaison Officer. In questioning him about the comments from Thames Water Consultees, he started preparing a model for Bramley with the proposed developments, and a conclusion they came to was that an “upgrade to the drainage network would be required to support the additional wastewater flows from all developments proposed in the Bramley Area”. This was in an e mail from him in January, 2018. Subsequently Mark has moved on and his position taken up by Cyril Mitkov who we are in communication with, but correspondence is slow.

The discharge of Condition 16 associated with 14/01075/OUT was given in a letter dated 4th February, 2016. This discharge was given on the basis that the development should proceed in accordance with approved details given in the “Sewer Impact Study” date received 27th November, 2015. A statement in the letter said “development should not commence until ALL pre-commencement conditions have been discharged”.

The Sewer Impact Study from “Thames Water” says in paragraph

                5.3. Sewerage Network improvements required for the proposed development 

There is not adequate capacity in the existing network to accept the proposed development flows and therefore improvements are required to the existing network.

Two options were provided in the study to accommodate the development and the conclusion was 

                7.0. Conclusion

Based on the analysis of the hydraulic model with and without the development flows, the proposed development at Minchens Lane will reduce existing levels of service within the foul sewer network downstream of the development.Two potential locations for the outline solution have been identified within the report to allow for the development to connect to the network while maintaining the existing level of service.

These are recommendations to Thames Water Utilities and may be altered/added to based on local operational knowledge of the system. 

Another report by Odyssey Markides for Persimmon Homes dated 22nd April, 2016 stated under the section on

Proposed Foul Water Drainage Strategy”

3.3. Following the undertaking of a Sewer Impact Study, Thames Water has concluded that improvement works will be required to the existing system to ensure that the system’s capacity is retained once the foul flows from the proposed development are concluded.               

We, Bramley Parish Council, have no confidence that the upgrade to the sewerage infrastructure referred to has been met and we therefore consider that Bramley residents are under threat of sewage overspill.

Looking further, this is just considering the 200 houses at Minchens Lane and further developments which have been approved and are ongoing with Conditions imposed associated with the Sewerage Infrastructure.

(Sewer Impact Study. SMG1294. G4027. Proposed Development at Minchens Lane, Bramley)

2)      50 houses on the Land North of Sherfield Road 

Condition 18 in accepting the Outline Planning for 15/02708/OUT states:-

No development approved by this permission shall be commenced until a detailed scheme for the improvement of the existing sewer system has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority…….

REASON: -    The sewerage service provider has highlighted existing sewer capacity issues within the vicinity of the proposed development. Improvements to the localities sewerage infrastructure may be required in order to accommodate the development without exacerbating capacity issues within the area. 

Officers Report Stated:-

DRAINAGE: - Thames water has identified sewer capacity issues with regards to the proposed development. In this regard their comments duplicate those made in their consultation response to the Outline application made under 14/01075/OUT (Minchens Lane). In that instance Thames water requested a condition that required the submission of a Drainage Strategy to be approved prior to the commencement of works on the site. Such a condition was imposed on the permission relating to 14/01075/OUT and therefore it is not necessary to repeat this condition at this reserved matters stage. 

20th February, 2018. Letter to Development Control from BCTAdmin, Thames Water.

Ref Land to the North of Sherfield Road, Bramley, RG26. 18/00099/RES

Waste Comments:- 

With the information provided Thames Water has been unable to determine the waste water infrastructure needs for this application. Should the Local Planning Authority look to approve the application ahead of further information being provided, we request the following Grampian Style condition be applied_ “Development shall not commence until a Drainage Strategy detailing any on and/off site drainage works has been submitted to and approved by the local planning authority in consultation with the sewerage undertaker.

REASON:- The development may lead to sewage flooding; to ensure that sufficient capacity is made available to cope with the new development and to avoid adverse environmental impact on the community. 

Letter from M Townsend on the application ref Sewage Capacity, ref 18/03479/EN10, ref the Land North of Sherfield Road,  said that the pre-application was being considered... 

This development is downstream from the development at Minchens Lane. The strategy that was recommended to apply to Minchens lane as regards the improvement in the infrastructure has to apply. Again we are not confident that this improvement has been made, and as this improvement was just for 200 houses, what further additional improvement is required to cope with a further 50 houses?? 

CONDITION 18 as far as we can see has not been met

3)      Land Adjacent the Street, Bramley, RG26 5DE. 15/02682/OUT for 65 houses

Permission given for the development subject to Condition 29 being met, ref sewerage infrastructure:- 

Condition 29:- Development shall not commence until a drainage strategy detailing any on and/or off site drainage works has been submitted to and approved by the local Planning Authority in consultation with the sewerage undertaker. No discharge of foul or surface water from the site shall be accepted into the public system until the drainage works referred to in the strategy have been complete.

REASON: The development may lead to sewage flooding; to ensure that sufficient capacity is made available to cope with the new development and in order to avoid adverse environmental impact upon the community. 

JUST A REPEAT OF ALL THE OTHER CONDITIONS APPLIED TO THE ABOVE APPLICATIONS WRT SEWAGE INFRASTRUCTURE. 

The discharge of condition 29 was given by Thames water on the 3rd October, 2018. This was on the basis that details of site drainage works, as laid down in drawing ref 41476/2004/003- revision P4 dated 18.04.18 are adhered to. This includes that no surface water flows will be discharged to the public sewer and foul water flows will connect via gravity to the 225mm foul sewer in The Street. 

A report by Peter Brett concerning the discharge of Condition 29 gives the information concerning the onsite drainage system and the point of discharge into the main sewer in The Street.

The reports that accompany the Discharge of Condition 29 and are on record are:- 

a)       Report by Peter Brett Associates, including plans 41476/2004/003 (RevisionP4) and 40476/2004/004(Revision 004)

Date 10th May 2018, received 31st August 2018

b)      Technical Approval from Thames Water.

Ref; DS6052110.

Date 28th August 2018, Received 6th September 2018.

c)       Build Schedule. Date 26th August 2018. Received 2nd October 2018

d)      Build Routes 1 and 2. Received 2nd October 2018.

These reports cover the connection to the sewer and the site layout of sewage pipes. There is no reference to the improvements to the overall Sewerage Infrastructure referred to in the applications for the 200 houses on Minchens Lane and the 50 houses on the Land North of Sherfield Road which lie DOWNSTREAM of this development.

Without the improvements to the Sewerage Infrastructure highlighted in the Sewage Survey conducted by Thames Water, which we do not believe have been completed,  then there is in our opinion going to be a sewage overflow when all the houses, 315 in total are completed.

In giving planning permission, the individual sites are assessed on an individual basis and no consideration appears to be given as to the overall impact that the total number of additional houses is going to have on the community, in this case with respect to the disposal of foul water.

Bramley Parish Council, who is there to ensure that the community of Bramley have a good quality of life and that the infrastructure across the board is in place to ensure that happens, are concerned that we as a community are going to have sewage overspill because the associated infrastructure is insufficient to cope. We want assurance from Basingstoke and Deane and Thames Water that this is not going to be the case so that we can circulate that assurance to the whole of the community.

That not being the case, as a body elected to protect and improve the community as regards their quality of life, we will publish our concerns to the community. As a Parish we spent hours drawing up a NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN to ensure that the Vision for Bramley is met in the coming years:

In 2029 Bramley will be an attractive village with a strong historic character, an unspoiled rural setting, excellent and conveniently located community facilities, a range of high quality homes fulfilling local needs, safe and convenient access to transport services and green spaces, and good opportunities for locally base employment.

We look forward to a response from Basingstoke and Deane addressing our concerns with the assurances we seek.

Best regards

Malcolm Bell,
Bramley Parish Councillor
On Behalf of Bramley Parish Council.

Attachments:
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Download this file (Bramley_Sewerage_concerns_04-19.pdf)Bramley Sewage ConcernsApril 2019262 kBMon, 06 May 2019 13:35:11

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