THURROCK’S Victorian drainage and sewage system is close to bursting point and cannot take more homes without the risk of flooding, it has been revealed.
Pressure on Thurrock Council to identify land for 32,000 new homes by 2038 will take its toll on sewage systems in the borough councillors said during a meeting of the local development plan task force.
At the meeting on Monday, councillors were informed assessments of Thurrock’s housing and employment land availability and economic development needs are due to be published before Christmas. A draft transport strategy and an infrastructure needs assessment are also about to be published.
Gary Collins Conservative councillor for The Homesteads, said: “Our sewage system is close to capacity so it’s an urgent conversation. It’s all very well saying we’ve got drains going out of the houses but they are connected to the sewage system. Builders will have to take account of sorting out their own drainage problems because we are getting close to saturation point with all the sewage.”
Mr Collins added flooding was also an increasing problem. He added: “I called a meeting to discuss the flooding issues we are already having on new builds in Stanford-le-Hope. We had a long discussion about what risk assessments should be done before we even think about building.
“One of the sites that came up for discussion was Bulphan. Bulphan is a fen so basically like a sponge and when it rains it soaks it all up until it can’t take any more and then suddenly the A128 turns into a river. If we end up building on a flood plane the houses will be uninsurable.”
Chairman Joy Redsell, called on water companies to attend planning meetings to address flooding issues. She added: “I went down to Tilbury near Asda the other day and it was impassable because the small roundabout that leads to Asda you couldn’t get round. The police were there. You’d have had to get a boat to get round it. That’s how deep it was.
“People are using more sewerage, they are using more water. It’s strain however many houses you put, whether we have all those houses or not. It’s all that strain on the water system. I would like to see water companies coming to planning.”