Online survey tries to solve sewage issues in Gedney Hill

Gedney Hill Parish Council news.

Gedney Hill households are being quizzed about the need for a drainage system in the village after complaints about raw sewage in recent weeks.

An online poll has been set up on social media to find out people’s views about replacing on-site septic tanks with a village-wide sewerage system for waste water from kitchens and toilets.

The current weather conditions are causing several properties to have soakaway problems (due to a septic tank having overflown, suffered damage or saturated ground) and, in some cases, raw sewage is visible

Gedney Hill Village Life Facebook page

The issue was discussed by Gedney Hill Parish Council at their January meeting on Monday when it was confirmed that homes in Station Road and Hillgate had complained about raw sewage appearing in gardens on both roads.

A statement on the Gedney Hill Village Life Facebook page said: “We have been asked by a resident to determine the need for the mains drainage in the village.

“The current weather conditions are causing several properties to have soakaway problems (due to a septic tank having overflown, suffered damage or saturated ground) and, in some cases, raw sewage is visible.”

Parish councillors raised the possibility that the problem may also be due to a high water table (the level below which the ground is saturated by water) meaning that waste water ends up on land, causing pollution problems.

During Monday’s meeting, Coun Paul Redgate said: “All pollution incidents have been reported to Anglian Water and the

Environment Agency.

“But we’ve dealt with this issue previously and had a rejection from Anglian Water in term of providing a new sewerage system.

“However, if parishioners come and ask us to get invoved in a new campaign to investigate the need for a sewerage system in the village, we’ll support them to the hilt.”

Calls for a drainage system for Gedney Hill could intensify based on the new South East Lincolnshire Local Plan, currently in the hands of the Government, which estimates that at least 120 new homes are needed in the village.

Sites identified in the Local Plan for the new homes includes land west of Hillgate and north of Mill Lane.

But a comment from the Environment Agency about the two sites, made in August 2016 during a public consultation period, said: “We are aware that there are no mains drainage facilities under the jurisdiction of Anglian Water and that South Holland District Council is the permit holder for four permitted discharges in the settlement.

“Based on the limited information we have available regarding these permit discharges, we believe there is not sufficient capacity available to accommodate (sewage) from an additional 120 dwellings.

“The council may need to upgrade some of the existing treatment plants and apply for variations of the current discharge permits, or consider the phasing of development, to ensure that adequate capacity is available to deal with foul water drainage before new dwellings are occupied.”

• Complaints about speeding through Gedney Hill has led parish councillors to accept an invitation to a meeting with county highways and road safety leaders in March.

The meeting at Cowbit Village Hall on March 5 has been organised by Coun Nigel Pepper whose county council ward, includes Gedney Hill.

The decision for two representatives from the parish council to attend the meeting came after villager Trevor Hidden claimed that drivers were reaching speeds of up to 60mph along Mill Lane.

In an email to parish councillors, Mr Hidden said: “Most people try to respect the village’s 30mph speed limit.

“But one morning as I was walking back towards my house with my two dogs, a van decided to overtake a bus, with me clearly in view.

“I jumped into the field as I saw him coming along as a precaution.

“But speeding happens a lot along Mill Lane and the current measure of having a flashing speed sign up has little effect on drivers because where it is placed at the moment is where they are breaking for the corner between Mill Lane and Lincoln Avenue anyway.

“I just don’t see the point of it when, at night, you can hear cars flying by on a straight road which motorists see as having a 60mph limit.”

• Council tax payers will see what they pay towards parish services drop by £2,500 after the 2018-19 precept was cut by 29 per cent.

Parish councillors decided to lower its council tax share from 2017-18’s figure of £8,500 to £6,000 after forecasting total income of £2,800 for 2018-19.

Total spending on churchyards and playing fields for the coming year was estimated at just under £9,400 after councillors decided against any extra grass cutting in the village on top of the two cuts done by Lincolnshire County Council.

Coun Ken James, parish council chairman, said: “There’s been a lot of work done by councillors voluntarily to reduce costs and we also have a fair bit of money in the bank.

“We don’t see the point of asking parishioners to pay any extra money.”

• Managers of Gedney Hill Memorial Hall are to be advised about noise levels there after a villager complained that they had had been disturbed by a “private function” in December.

Parish councillors are to write to the secretary of the hall’s management committee about the incident on December 16.

• Gedney Hill could look to team up with Sutton St Edmund to offer defibrillator and other first aid training for interested villagers.

Parish councillors preferred this option ahead of paying for a course run by either LIVES or St John Ambulance volunteers in Gedney Hill itself that might end up being poorly attended.

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