Antiques dealer tells of sewage hell

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RAW sewage gushing from a manhole cover is causing a rather smelly problem for an antiques business.

For six years now, Stephen Goulding, owner of GG Antiques at Newfield House, Middleton, has been dealing with the sewage gushing down the road next to his property and flooding it.

An old pumphouse across the road is broken and that is believed to be what is causing the problem.

Stephen said: “I bought the site in 1994 and at the time the pumphouse was working.

“When people come up to the centre, they say, “you need to get your drains sorted”.

“At 4pm to 4.30pm every day, the sewage gushes out and down the road.

“When we get out of the car to shut the gates at night we are walking in the sewage.

“It’s a health risk, its definitely sewage. There are people that walk along with their dogs and lasses pushing prams every day and they are walking in it.

“The road is often flooded and if it freezes in the winter, my fear is a car will spin round the corner and have a crash.

“It’s on the cards because it’s like an ice rink when that happens.”

United Utilities, Environmental Health and the Environment Agency have had meetings about the sewage problem but Stephen said after six years, he has had enough.

He said: “The agents for the pumphouse, which is owned privately, tried to get everyone together to get the problem solved.

“I’ve got planning permission for one of the buildings on the site to become a convenience store and people want to have it, but until the job is finished, I can’t open it.

“In the next five years United Utilities is taking over all private pump houses and drains. If I could get it sorted I would be happy.”

Polly Rourke, a spokesperson for United Utilities said: “We have great sympathy with the people in Middleton Road who have been experiencing these problems for several years.

“Unfortunately the pumping station does not belong to us so our options are very limited.

“Despite that we have been working with the council and the Environment Agency to see if there is any way to alleviate the situation in the short term. “

A spokesperson for Environmental Health at Lancaster City Council said: “The sewer serves several properties on the small industrial estate on the opposite side of Middleton Road and also Newfield House.

“Officers have met with United Utilities and the Environment Agency with a view to solving this problem.”