Parish Council votes to oppose new housing until village sewerage capacity check is completed.

Parish Council votes to oppose new housing until village sewerage capacity check is completed.

Hollingbourne Parish Council has voted on 12th October to object to all future planning applications for new houses in the village until Southern Water complete a sewer capacity review for the village. Residents and the Parish Council have been concerned that planning permission was given for fourteen new homes opposite Godfrey House in Eyhorne Street despite the fact that the village sewer system appears to be already overloaded and has to be pumped out regularly via a man hole in Hasteds.

In addition to the fourteen new houses currently under construction in Hollingbourne a number of other potential sites have been identified in Hollingbourne by Maidstone Borough Council who last year ignored Hollingbourne Parish Council’s objections to the new Wealden Homes development over a number of issues including the fact that the sewer system is already overloaded and that some residents have had backflow problems.

The Parish Council has taken up the matter with Southern Water who are responsible for sewerage disposal and with local MP Mrs Helen Whately. Southern Water have stated that they do not do capacity checks unless they are requested to do so by the developer or by the local planning authority which in the case of Hollingbourne is Maidstone Borough Council. Neither Wealden Homes or Maidstone Borough Council requested a capacity check despite the fact that last year the Parish Council listed sewer problems as one of the reasons for opposing the Wealden Homes development of fourteen £800,000 to £900,000 dfour and five bedroomed houses.

Mrs Whately has now obtained an undertaking from Southern Water that a capacity review of Hollingbourne will be done in the “current financial year” and the Parish Council has decided to oppose all new housing development until the matter is clarified. Additionally the Parish Council is lodging a formal complaint to Maidstone Borough Council about the fact that their concerns about about the foul water capacity of the sewer systyem were ignored. It is understood that similar problems also affect Headcorn where larges numbers of houses are proposed.

Fuller details of the Parish Council’s and KCC’s May 2014 objections to the Wealden Homes development are at

The text of the complaint to Maidstone Borough Council is here

Pictured below is a Southern Water representative at the man hole in Hasteds where the sewer goes from Eyhorne Street under the CTRL and M20 before meeting up with the main drain on the A20/ashford Road. It is understood that the sewer pipe is only four inches or 100mm in diameter.