Concerns after homes ‘threatened’ by sewage in Wilsden

Keighley News: Residents Ronnie Bagdonavicius,Caroline Bagdonavicius, Kate Wild, and Harrison Houldsworth wait as workmen clear the sewer Residents Ronnie Bagdonavicius,Caroline Bagdonavicius, Kate Wild, and Harrison Houldsworth wait as workmen clear the sewer

A sewage-filled flood that threatened homes in Wilsden at the weekend has prompted calls for an investigation by concerned councillors.

Horrified homeowners in Crack Lane woke on Sunday morning to find five inches of water and effluent at their doorsteps.

Yorkshire Water helped clear the problem, but yesterday there were calls to establish any link between the problem and a controversial housing development on a sloping greenfield site above the properties.

Harron Homes gained permission to build 82 houses last April, despite strong opposition from residents, ward councillors and MP Philip Davies.

Bradford Council’s planning consent came with a list of 27 conditions, many of which required work by the company before building could begin.

These included a drainage plan as a previous proposal had been rejected because of these issues.

But work started before all these conditions were met, and the council issued an enforcement notice in October to warn the company about its “breach of planning controls”.

The notice warned Harron Homes one such breach could lead to “excessive surface water run-off from the land, which has the potential to cause localised flooding”.

Coun Michael Ellis said: “I was on the planning committee and I voted against this development, and one of the reasons was the risk of flooding.”

He added those affected would want answers, and Wilsden parish councillor Tony Caunt agreed. “It’s rather coincidental these problems have arisen now work has started on the site,” Coun Caunt said.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said: “This is an intolerable situation for local residents, which needs sorting out once and for all.”

Harron Homes said it was unaware of any flooding issues at Crack Lane and offered to help in an investigation.

A spokesman said a huge underground collection tank had been installed, but not yet connected to piping. A second similar tank will be installed next month.

“Harron Homes has not been made aware of any contamination to surrounding gardens,” the spokesman added.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “There are conditions relating to the drainage of the housing development, and Harron Homes is currently working hard to implement the approved drainage scheme.

“Any pipes connected to the public sewerage system are the responsibility of the developer and Yorkshire Water, and we are further investigating the situation where raw sewage was flooding into residents’ gardens.”

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