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Action set to be taken to help prevent Fleet flooding

Thames Water planning a new sewage pumping station in the Calthorpe area of the town

Hitches Lane, Fleet. Cllr Steve Forster (L) with Perdi Forster and Richard Woods in front of pumping station site that should stop the flooding problems in the area
Steve and Perdi Forster with Richard Woods in front of the planned pumping station site

Raw sewage flooding homes and gardens in the Calthorpe area of Fleet looks set to become a problem solved.

Thames Water has revealed plans for a new sewage pumping station (SPS) off Hitches Lane.

Residents in the area around Calthorpe Park School have suffered regular flooding for years and it reached crisis point following the severe weather of December and January.

There were once again complaints of human waste, toilet paper and sanitary products turning up in gardens.

Now Thames Water plans to solve the problem by building a new SPS – expected to take 14 months.

The move has been welcomed by Steve Forster, who is standing as a Conservative candidate in the Fleet West ward in the Hart District Council elections in May, as is his daughter Perdi and Richard Woods.

Mr Forster said all three had visited the area as part of their election campaigns.

“We met many residents of the worst-affected houses along and just off Tavistock Road, and it was distressing to see the awful sewage and water damage,” he said.

“It’s great to see that Thames Water is stepping up and planning to build the new pumping station.

“It would be good to see this work done quickly to prevent future flooding, and finally help residents affected by the awful floods.

“It does need to be done so it’s a proper long-term fix for all residents while ensuring it doesn’t cause any problems for properties close by.”

Trees

Mr Forster said having viewed the application it was not clear whether the new station had the capacity needed to stop the flooding locally, but that this must be assured.

“The site needs to cope with current and planned volumes, including the expansion of Calthorpe Park School and any new leisure centre,” he pointed out.

Mr Forster does not think the proposed landscaping around the new pumping station is sufficient, especially considering the station would be opposite the school and the local country park.

“It needs more trees planted along the edge of the fence, as well as the proposed hedging, and in particular it needs some additional mature trees planted to hide the crane,” said Mr Forster.

“Without this, the new site would be an eyesore.”

Mr Forster said the site was close to homes and he feared the noise from the generator and pumps may be intrusive.

“We would like to see additional sound deadening material located around any noisy equipment,” he said.

“The design must ensure that the ambient noise level should not affect any nearby residents, even when the plant is operating at maximum capacity.”

Thames Water said it was building a replacement "fit for purpose" SPS because the present station, built in 1986, can no longer cope and homes flood in Hitches Lane and Tavistock Road during periods of heavy rainfall.

In the event of power failure to the station, a standby generator would ensure the pumps continued to operate.

The SPS will be surrounded by a 1.8m-high timber fence plus trees to adequately protect the site.

Hart District Council is due to make a decision on the application by Tuesday June 10.

 
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