Ipswich residents raise a stink

AN angry group of residents fed up with the stench from a sewage works which they claim has pervaded their Ipswich homes for several years have today vowed to kick up a stink.

AN angry group of residents fed up with the stench from a sewage works which they claim has pervaded their Ipswich homes for several years have today vowed to kick up a stink.

The residents have formed The Rivers Action Group with a mandate of informing people in the south east of the town about where the nasty niff comes from and what they can do to help stop it.

Ipswich Council served an abatement notice on Anglian Water at the beginning of the year after claiming the stench, which some residents believe has been present for a decade, emanated from the sewage works in Raeburn Road.

While many thought that was the council's tough stance would see an end to the problem, Anglian Water opted to appeal meaning the notice is suspended until the appeal is resolved at a hearing in August.

Now, residents fearful of not being able to enjoy their gardens again this summer have decided to take action.

Alex Steel, one of the group's founders said: "Our hope is that the council's notice will be upheld and the situation will be remedied.

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"When we first thought about what we could do, we considered a petition but then we thought it would be better to register as many complaints as possible.

"The reaction we've had when handing out the leaflets has been really positive.

"Even if it doesn't get people complaining, at least they will be educated on what the problem is."

The group have dropped around 1,500 leaflets into houses across the Rivers, Priory Heath and Gainsborough wards of Ipswich, encouraging residents to write to Anglian Water or Clive Bentley, senior environmental health officer at Ipswich Borough Council.

Posters are also being displayed in the windows of shops and businesses.

The group have received the backing of county and borough councillors alike, as well as Ipswich MP Chris Mole, who recently met on site with Anglian Water's chief operating officer Peter Simpson.

Mr Steel said: "While the smell has undeniably been much rarer in recent weeks, our concern is that the activity at the plant is being moved to times where it is not as noticeable – there was an awful incident last week during the night – or simply to hold back with treatment so close to the appeal."

A spokesman for Anglian Water said they were unable to comment specifically on the case because the hearing was to be held in due course, but added: "Irrespective of the hearing, we have been working closely with Ipswich Council to resolve the problems experienced.

"We have invested a significant amount of money in stopping the odour problems on site."

Have you noticed the nasty niff? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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