Yorkshire villagers 'living in fear of rain' due to excrement being dumped in gardens
Five homes in Walton, near Wetherby, are regularly unable to use their toilets and showers when the sewage system is overwhelmed in heavy rain, a planning meeting was told on Thursday.
One local man said he’d had several “goodwill” payouts from Yorkshire Water over the last two decades because of the issue, which on occasion forces him to shower at a local sports centre.
The problems were revealed as villagers objected to plans for a new glamping site, which would be around a mile away from Leeds United’s Thorp Arch training ground.
Landowner Hugh Barker has applied for planning permission to put up eight glamping pods on a field off Hall Park Road, to the north of Walton.
But more than 50 people have objected to the plan, with concerns about further pressure on the local drainage system among them.
One of those, Phil Robinson, told the city council’s plans panel that the issues had affected Walton “for at least 30 years”.
He added: “I’ve been there for 20 years. I can show you a long list of dealings we’ve had with Yorkshire Water because when the system fills up, the Walton sewage system comes down the side of our house, basically.
“Yorkshire Water have had to pay compensation to us at various times for goodwill gestures.
“Our neighbour’s garden had 11,000 litres of sewage sucked out of their garden in November 2021.
“We live in a little bit of fear when there’s heavy rain, particularly.”
Fellow objector Chris Johnson, whose property is not one of those directly affected, told the meeting: “If you live in one of those homes, when that sewer is backed up, you can’t use your loo and you can’t have a shower in the morning.
“Phil and his wife have to go out and have a wash in the local sports club. It’s 2023. That’s what it’s like to live with a bad sewer.
“There are five houses in particular that have to stop using their facilities because the sewer has backed up.”
In a statement issued after the meeting, Yorkshire Water said: “We are aware of problems with surface water drainage in Walton and possible infiltration of this into the sewer network during periods of prolonged or heavy rainfall.
“We are currently investigating our network there and will explore long-term solutions to tackle this issue.
“We are also aware of a planning application for glamping pods in the village and, should the application be approved, we will work closely with the developer to get details of their plans and understand the best approach to a new connection into the public sewer network.”
Councillors delayed making a decision on the glamping site application on Thursday, as they asked for more information to be gathered.
Planning officers said that if the pods are approved, they cannot be set up before the site has adequate drainage, which could result in an upgrade of Walton’s sewerage system.