Friday, November 20, 2009

Hounslow Council issues odour abatement notice in bud to stop Mogden sewage works stench

The owners of Mogden sewage works are being slapped with a legal order to stop unsavoury smells that “blighted” the lives of the site’s neighbours.

Hounslow Council agreed to “up the ante” on Thames Water by issuing an odour abatement notice - which would force an obligation on the company to tackle strong stenches smelt by hundreds of neighbouring residents.

At a meeting of the council’s executive on Tuesday, Councillor Jonathan Hardy blamed “a whole list of management failures”, including spills, leaks and problems surrounding Mogden’s odour control unit, as reasons for making the order.

The decision came less than 24 hours after senior managers from Thames Water promised Vince Cable MP that they were in engaged in urgent engineering works on two separate defects at Mogden, which have caused a bad smell lasting for days.

Council leader Peter Thompson, said: “We actually want to work with Thames Water - we have tried in the past and I think it’s time to up the ante a little bit.

“It’s not an action that we have taken lightly.

“I think it is about time we actually began to more vigorously champion residents’ rights to have a decent quality of life.”

He added that the lives of residents “have been blighted and hindered” by smells coming from the site.

Coun Pamela Fisher said: “Despite their millions of pounds that they have supposedly invested we are still almost at the same stage we were seven years ago.”

Dr Cable, Twickenham’s MP, promised that if the recent problem was not solved soon he would “apply more pressure” by organising a Parliamentary debate.

A spokeswoman for Thames Water said the company was yet to receive any odour abatement notice.

She said: “We have had no consultation with the council on this and will need to look carefully at the notice before making any response.”

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 states that, where a local authority is satisfied that a “statutory nuisance” exists, or is likely to occur or recur, it can serve an abatement notice.

Earlier this year Hounslow Council approved plans by Thames Water to expand Mogden, which will allow the sewage works to increase its capacity by 40 per cent.

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