A West London town could be left covered in stinking sewage if a planned housing development goes ahead, furious neighbours fear.
There are concerns over plans to build eight new homes on the site of Lidding Road Garages in Kenton. Families fear it will make flooding issues in the area worse – bringing stinking sludge with it.
People living nearby claim Victorian-era sewage pipes regularly become blocked or collapse, causing foul-smelling water to run off into parks and roads.
They claim the area frequently suffers from flooding during stormy weather and suggested this development will only add to the problem.
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John Poole spoke on behalf of local residents at the Brent Council planning meeting. He said the issue will only be solved once the pipes are replaced.
He claimed the poorly-maintained sewers are impacting on the nearby Wealdstone Brook, which he described as “one of the most polluted water sources in London”.
In an objection letter, the Friends of Woodcock Park, said: “The Wealdstone Brook is blighted by sewage, due largely to the infrastructure of dual manholes.
“We are in constant discussions with Thames Water, but this has been an ongoing problem for decades and will not be completely eradicated until the sewage system is rebuilt.
“This area is also plagued by rats which run along the Wealdstone Brook and there is often a foul smell of sewage.
“Who would want to live near an open sewer, liable to flood, where you are unable to open your windows?”
Brent Council planning officers said the development would have a positive impact in terms of tackling flooding from rainwater as the new ground would help drainage.
They added Thames Water has responsibility for the sewage system and that it had given assurances it could deal with any issues brought on by the new homes.
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Councillors on the planning committee were unconvinced that the issues around flooding had been resolved at this stage.
They voted to defer the application until a later date to seek further assurances from council officers and Thames Water that the development would not cause serious problems.
Kerry Royston, representing the developer’s agent, JLL, said the scheme would provide new “much needed” homes, all of which would be offered at London affordable rent levels.
She added the current site is “underutilised” and that the garages are in a state of disrepair, attracting anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping to the area.
A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We have reviewed the development proposal and advised that, given the reduction in surface water flows the development will provide, the impact of the additional sewage from the new homes on wastewater capacity will be negligible.”