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29 September 2014, 06:21 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Work starts on a new £63 million sewage treatment plant in Southampton this week, following nearly 40 years of complaints about the smell from the current facility at Woolston.
The proposals were approved by Southampton City Council in June, following the decision by the Planning and Rights of Way panel in January to delegate final approval to the Planning and Development Manager. With the completion of the standard judicial review period, the project got the green light at the end of July.
The £63 million scheme will be completed by contractor 4Delivery, a consortium of Veolia Water, Costain and MWH. An Employment and Skills plan is in place which will encourage the participation of local contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers and provide employment opportunities for Southampton residents.
Southern Water Project Manager Julie Anne Stokes said:
"We have been working closely with Southampton City Council to produce the required documentation and we are delighted to have been given full planning permission.
"We have received a high level of support for the project from local residents and are eager to deliver the new treatment works as soon as possible."
Cllr Warwick Payne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainability and a Woolston ward councillor, said:
"This project will be very welcomed by the residents of Woolston who I know are keen to see a new more efficient and less pungent facility on site. We have worked closely with Southern Water to ensure the plans for the site meet the needs of the area, and we will remain in liaison with them throughout the build phase to ensure that residents' needs continue to be met."
The scheme will happen in phases. The first phase will be to build a temporary works to treat wastewater before elements of the existing site are demolished. Working in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), these temporary works will be constructed on land adjacent to the current site in Victoria Road. They will also help to unlock nearby land for the continued development of Centenary Quay, where the HCA is working with partners to bring forward the first phases of around 1,600 new and affordable homes.
Once the temporary works is complete, construction of the new treatment plant will start - this is estimated to be in mid 2015.
Southern Water will continue to liaise closely with customers before and during construction and plans to hold regular drop-in sessions with the project team.
The proposed scheme aims to:
- Significantly reduce smells coming from the works
- Ensure the treated wastewater leaving the site meets new environmental standards set by the Environment Agency
- Completely redesign the works so it fits in with the redevelopment of the area