Fears of smells raised over plans to shift sewage treatment works

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Villagers are objecting over plans to shift a sewage treatment plant inland - saying they don’t want to be assailed with smells.

Yorkshire Water (YW) plans to move the plant just a few miles from fast eroding clifftops to a seven-acre field off North Carr Dales Road, Hollym.

But residents are concerned about siting the new £13m plant on the windward side of the village close to a caravan park and golf course, and want to know whether there is an alternative.

Ahead of a drop-in session this week Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart has written to YW chief executive Richard Flint to flag up concerns that smells will waft “over the village, the golf course, the caravan parks and into Withernsea.”

It comes at a time that YW risks prosecution if it fails to get to grips with the long-standing problem of “horrendous” smell coming from a much bigger waste water treatment plant at Saltend, near Hull.

A panel of councillors will continue taking evidence about the saga today at County Hall, Beverley, from affected residents.

Vice chairman of Hollym parish council Adrian Boasman said: “In Hollym we treat all our own sewage, yet we have to have all of Withernsea’s pumped into Hollym to be dealt with. We get all the fall-out and none of the benefit.

“We are told they have done feasibility studies and this is the best they have come up with, but they won’t say what the other possibilities are.”

The current plant, which treats waste from up to 12,000 residents in Withernsea, which is north of Hollym, is now only 70m from the cliffedge. It is predicted that the cliffedge could reach its boundary by 2021.

Mr Boasman said as many as 100 people would be in close proximity to the new plant half a km away. He said: “I would prefer to see the site in a different location but still between the sea and the village, so that the prevailing wind takes any odours over the sea, by-passing the village completely, as it does now. Why can’t we have a say in it? You would hope that it wasn’t just a financial decision because this was the cheapest place.”

Coun Arthur Hodgson said: “Residents (have) told me of their worries about the potential for smells, and that they are just not prepared to have their lives blighted in that way. I am looking forward to hearing what Yorkshire Water’s Plan B is as that might resolve many of the issues.”

Mr Stuart said he understood the “lack of trust in Yorkshire Water, given that both Hedon and Beverley residents have had to put up with smells this summer from the Saltend and Beverley water treatment plants.”

He urged people to attend a drop-in on Thursday at Hollym Village Hall between 3pm and 7pm.

YW said there was a Plan B, not far away, but it was unlikely that they could avoid traffic going through the village.

They expect to apply for planning permission next month. In a statement they added: “We will do every thing we can to minimise the odours.

“As it is a sewage works, we cannot guarantee that there will be no odour at all, but as it will be a brand new works we will be using the newest technology and we are undertaking an odour model and survey as part of our design.”

The plant would be connected to the existing sewage outfall, so effluent is discharged below Withernsea’s beach.