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Sewage, smells and unsafe roads: Residents' new estate nightmare finally coming to an end

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A two-year nightmare for residents who have endured problems with sewage and flooding on a new estate could soon be over.

Homeowners on the Hatherton Place development in Cheslyn Hay have experienced horrendous smells coming into their homes, as well as unsafe roads and pavements since they moved in during 2014.

South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson has described the situation as 'the most disgraceful mess and lack of regard for customers and families I have ever seen' and urged South Staffordshire Council to consider enforcement action against developer Morris Homes.

But after a lengthy battle, work is set to start today to rectify the problems with the estate's drainage system and in a statement to the Express & Star, the firm's boss issued an apology to residents.

For two years bowser tankers have visited the site nearly on a daily basis to empty a cesspit because the estate is not linked to the main sewer.

Residents have had the smell of sewage come through pipes and into their homes.

Clearing up flooding and raw sewage in Salters Meadow

In recent weeks heavy rainfall has made the problem worse with raw sewage flooding the roads and getting into at least one resident's garage and preventing another resident from getting into their home because of a large flood of waste.

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Another resident has blocked the air hole bricks of their home to stop the smell of sewage coming into their house.

Similarly the roads and pavements have not been completed, despite all homes being occupied. Drain covers have been concreted over or covered in tarmac and there are general lumps of tarmac over the road surface and pavements.

One drain cover dangerously doesn't cover the entirety of the hole.

The terrible state of the roads and drains in Salters Meadow

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Tarmac covering a drain

Railway worker Nathan Brady, 39, lives in Salters Meadow with his wife Tammie, 35, and son Keegan, four.

He said: "It has been a nightmare. My wife and son had to leave the house because of the smell. Our garden has flooded, our bathroom has flooded, the road surface is dangerous. We are disgusted at how we have been treated."

Andrew and Charlotte Dodd, Pru Jethwa, parish councillor Phil Appleton with Nathan and Tammie Brady and son Keegan

Teacher Andrew Dodd, 29, said: "We have been left high and dry by Morris Homes. We have been left in fear of our health because of the issues with sewage.

"This has been going on for more than 18 months and we think it is completely unacceptable to go through what we have considering we have bought brand new homes."

And fellow teacher Emma Noon, 26, added: "With the torrential rain it just made the situation horrendous and I could not even get into my property without my neighbour Nathan carrying me through the flood. Our house absolutely stunk and on top of everything else it is beyond a joke."

More blocked drains

Mr Williamson added: "It is deeply sad that what should have been a lovely time for these young families moving into beautiful new homes has been the most atrocious set of circumstances.

"The estate is the most disgraceful mess and the lack of regard by Morris Homes to their customers and these families is outrageous.

"I am glad that after more than a year of letters from residents, myself, local councillors and finally inquiries by the Express & Star that we seem to be on our way to a resolution and I will be keeping a close on eye on it."

Even the road sign has seen better days

Dominic Harman, Morris Homes regional managing director, said: "We are truly sorry about the disruption the ongoing work has caused to residents at Hatherton Place and we can assure homeowners that we are working hard to put things right.

"There have been delays in obtaining the relevant technical approvals needed to upgrade the development's drainage system and for that – and the subsequent problems caused – we can only apologise.

"We do now have the relevant approvals in place and after being delayed by last week's bad weather, work will begin to rectify these issues today.

"In the meantime, we are doing everything possible to ensure the development is kept as clean as possible, sending in bowser tanks and carrying out regular, precautionary disinfection work.

"As soon as the upgrade is complete we will be resurfacing roads and footpaths and we will restore and make good any gardens or other areas that have been adversely affected."

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