Housebuilder found guilty over unauthorised drainage system

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Housebuilder Morris Homes has been found guilty of breaching planning conditions, following the installation of an unauthorised sewage and drainage system

South Staffordshire District Council took builders Morris Homes to court for not rectifying an unauthorised sewage and drainage system at Salters Meadow, Cheslyn Hay.

The company admitted not complying with a Breach of Condition order at Cannock Magistrates’ Court on April 27 and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay the council’s costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

‘A complete lack of regard for residents’

Annette Roberts, corporate director of planning and infrastructure at South Staffordshire District Council, said: “The company has been far too slow to install a proper sewage system on this housing estate, even after it lost an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, but we are determined to see this through to a successful conclusion on behalf of our residents.

“It’s a great pity that the council have had to follow the legal process this way. However, the company has now submitted two alternative drainage and sewage schemes which we will now be considering.”

Morris Homes installed a sewage pumping station in 2014, saying it was a temporary solution, but a year later the company submitted plans to make the station permanent.

South Staffordshire District Council refused the application on the grounds that it wasn’t acceptable and its decision was backed by the Planning Inspectorate in June 2018 after an unsuccessful appeal by the housebuilder.

Morris Homes has now submitted alternative drainage plans for the council to consider so that an approved system can be installed.

Salters Meadow resident Andrew Dodd said he was pleased that the council’s court case had resulted in the housebuilder admitting the sewage system was not fit for purpose.

Dodd said: “Morris Homes has shown a complete lack of regard for residents over the years and still do.

“Bowser tanks regularly visit to empty a cesspit which causes disruption and horrible smells, with mess left on the road and pavements where residents walk their children to school.

“We hope that Morris Homes work with the District Council and Severn Trent to ensure that this is installed in a timely fashion to finally allow residents to get on with their lives.”

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