A SEWAGE plant will expand to within 20 metres of houses in Lower Kilburn, despite complaints alleging problems with over rats, flies and smells.
Twenty-nine residents and councillors opposed Severn Trent’s plans to develop its operation at Tants Meadow.
However the water company won permission from Derbyshire County Council after members of the planning committee were told it was needed to cope with population growth and new environmental standards.
The decision means the plant can extend the site 15 metres into a Greenbelt field - close to a row of properties on Derby Road.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It feels like we haven’t listened to. I am worried about the huge impact the development will have once the existing machinery and tanks are removed during the construction.
“This will create huge problems with strong odours, flies and vermin, making my life unbearable.”
Other homeowners, in letters of objection to the county council said their properties are being devalued, they are kept awake by humming noises and are concerned that waste could flow near or into their homes in the event of a flood.
Derbyshire County Councillor for the Horsley Ward, Eric Lancashire, said: “The most apt solution would be to close the plant down and transfer the treatment to a more up to date installation. Residentsare having to endure discomfort and are dreading the effects of the oncoming hot summer months
Work is planned to start early in the New Year and will take two years to complete. The majority of the construction will take place within Severn Trent’s site.
The development was given the go-ahead with 25 conditions, aimed at keeping the impact on neighbours to a minimum.
They included a rule stating construction must only take place between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday and between 7am and 1pm on Saturdays.
Noise levels must also not exceed a specified level throughout construction.
Christine Naylor, programme manager for Severn Trent, said: “We want to be a better neighbour. The new treatment process will help accommodate the expanding community as well as help reduce the fly and odour concerns highlighted by some local residents.
“To minimise disruption, we will be leasing an adjacent field for the site set up and to store materials from the old treatment works for reuse. This will keep traffic movements to a minimum and reduce the carbon footprint of the new treatment works.
“We will also make sure to wash the wheels of our construction vehicles and periodically sweep Tants Meadow to keep the area tidy.
“We will also be widening Tants Meadow between our gate and its junction with Derby Road as well as the junction at Tants Meadow and Derby Road to improve access to the treatment works.
“To do this safely we will need to temporarily close Tants Meadow. This is expected to be for no more than four weeks.”