Anger as Sheffield sewage plan is approved

Current water works for Stocksbridge area which are being replaced
Current water works for Stocksbridge area which are being replaced
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CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new £11 million sewage works have been approved – despite hundreds of residents campaigning against the scheme.

Sheffield Council’s west and north planning board has approved the facility at Wharncliffe Side, to replace a sewage treatment plant at Deepcar which is almost a century old.

The existing plant is next to old brickworks where 370 homes are to be built and the facility has to be moved as a condition of planning permission for the housing.

Yorkshire Water said construction of the replacement sewage works is planned to start in February 2014, following the appointment of a contractor.

The works were approved despite a 200-name petition and 19 letters of objection. Protesters are worried about smells, impact on the green belt, and traffic.

Coun Jack Clarkson, of Stocksbridge Town Council, which supported residents from Wharncliffe Side who campaigned against the development, said: “There will be quite a lot of disappointment. The sewage works need to be really high-tech to ensure smells do not cause problems in the area.”

Protesters say the works will create ‘a huge development’ which would have ‘a smelly impact on our little village’.

However, a council report says there will be no ‘undue impact’ on the nearest residents.

The proposed works would have ‘odour control technology’, while tanks would be covered and others fitted with automatic desludging pumps.

Council officers claim there are ‘special circumstances’ to justify the move, even though to do so breaches green belt guidelines.

They say the relocation would pave the way for new homes ‘which will promote the regeneration of a contaminated site and contribute to the five-year supply of housing in the city’.

Quentin Williams, Yorkshire Water project manager, said: “This new facility will be able to cope with waste water flows more effectively and efficiently than at present. This will ensure the water we discharge back into the River Don continues to be of a high standard.

“We will continue to keep the community informed of progress, and do our best to minimise disruption for residents throughout the construction process.”

Yorkshire Water said the project is part of a series of improvements in the north of Sheffield, which also include cleaning the water mains serving Stocksbridge to reduce incidents of water supply discolouration.