WATER company Severn Trent has been blasted over “continuous sewage spills” and “shoving away” plans for improvements in a “dark filling cabinet somewhere”.

Westbury-on-Severn councillor Simon Phelps raised serious concerns this week about the water firm’s track record in dealing with sewage spills. 

He made the comments as councillors debated plans to build 17 homes off Foley Road in Hartpury.

Cllr Phelps told the Forest Council’s development management committee on that sewage issues were well known in the Hartpury area.

He explained there have been frequent overspills and questioned whether Severn Trent “really know what’s going on there” as they seldom raise objections to planning applications for new housing.

Cllr Phelps also spoke of how the water firm has held meetings in Westbury over the years and never delivered on their promises.

“We also know there are issues with sewage in the Hartpury area. There are frequent overspill situations. I note that Severn Trent have stated to the parish council that they are prepared to come and have a meeting with the parish council.

“All I can say is good luck to you. We’ve been having meetings with Severn Trent in Westbury parish for years.

“We have had promises of all manner of improvements and they go away and it’s just shoved away in some dark filing cabinet somewhere.

“And we never hear another word until they have another lot of complaints. I’d also question if Severn Trent ever raises an objection to a housing development.

“Do they really know what’s going on out here? With continuous sewage spills, it’s not a nice situation at all.”

A Severn Trent spokesperson said they have been meeting regularly with residents and Hartpury parish council to understand their concerns regarding flooding in the area.

They said they understand that any type of flooding can be distressing, and are working hard to find a resolution.

“This includes the installation of sensors to better understand flows in the sewers during periods of wet weather, and we are exploring ways to reduce the amount of rainwater getting into the sewers, which will help protect properties affected when the sewers are overwhelmed during periods of wet weather.

“While we do engage with the planning process, and our investment strategy is informed by longer-term projects for housing, we are not a statutory consultee and are bound by regulations that allow developers to automatically connect to the existing sewer network.”