The Long Read: Horn Street Stench, Part 2

Since we brought you Part 1 of The Horn Street Stench in early October 2018, more details about raw sewage backing up in toilets and baths and th£Folkestone&HytheDistrictCouncil$e stench have emerged.

Horn Street Stench – Google My Maps

Area affected by sewage backing up

The issues according to Southern Water (SW) which affect the new builds in and around St Martin’s Plain (Cheriton) new builds by Taylor Wimpey (TW), may not be resolved until May 2019. However, the stench is not the only issue affecting residents who live in the area.

Screenshot from 2018-11-24 12-55-41

The issues have been ongoing since May 2018, and when we mean issues, we mean raw sewage backing up into customers toilets & baths. They have all paid a substantial sum of money for their new homes and surely did not expect sewage as a gift, shortlyafter they moved in.sHIT BACKING UP SINCE MAY 1

Tenants at St Martin Plain new builds began complaining to both SW and TW in July.


There is a legal wrangle going on between TW and SW and residents have been given the run around by SW & TW.


While the legal wrangle goes on residents suffer and potentially may have to wait for another six months (May 2019) for the issues to be resolved. (So a whole year potentially)

cOMPLETION may 2019 sEPTMeanwhile the two Chief Executives – Ian Mc Aulay of SW (pictured left below)and Peter Redfern of TW (pictured right below) continue to earn in excess of £4.8 million between them.

Screenshot from 2018-11-24 13-10-44 Screenshot from 2018-11-24 13-11-43

Screenshot from 2018-11-24 13-15-13

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All the while their customers on St Martin’s Plain suffer with sewage backing up in their toilets and baths, while their respective companies argue over who is responsible. If residents want to contact either of them they can be reached on:

Moving on, tankering has had to be undertaken 4 times a week according to SW.However it has turned out to be every day, according to local residents we spoke to.


The tankers though have NOT just been turning up at 10am, but late in the night/early morning which has been disturbing the residents, while they sleep.

Screenshot from 2018-11-24 13-30-37

In May 2018 TW sent a letter to residents setting out they were trying to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Now from other emails we have in our possession, TW hired a PR company to assist in writing the letters sent out to residents and also to prevent any negative publicity for them. The company they hired to undertake this work was

May letter

Then TW sent another letter to residents on the 5th Oct 2018.

Screenshot from 2018-11-24 14-10-26

However, this letter was a cock up by TW. The number given to residents to contact SW’s Lionel Hutchins was the wrong person as they make clear in this email below.


Now TW wish to send out a further letter with the correct details, but as we understand residents of St Martin’s plain have not received the letter yet.


Now in case TW received  bad press, they pre-prepared an advance statement to give to the press.


And in Oct 2018 the residents contacted BBC South East 

Now it is not just the residents on St Martin’s plan who are having backing up issues. Those who live in St Mark’s Close, Cheriton have issue’s too.


It is clear from emails that the issue will not be resolved until May 2019, and that a road closure for up to 16 weeks will be necessary. So raw sewerage backing up in residents toilets and baths may last a whole year; which is simply NOT acceptable.

cOMPLETION may 2019 sEPT

Now as far as we know not a single Cllr has lifted a finger to help the residents.

Cllrs Pat & Roger West (Con) – Folkestone Town Council

Pat2520West-277x300 Roger2520West-291x300

Cllrs Peter Gane (Con) below left, John Collier (Con)  centre,and Damon Robinson (UKIP) right – Folkestone & Hythe District Council

petergane John2520Collier-261x300 Damon R

Nor Cllr Rory Love (Con) –  Kent County Council


Perhaps Cllr Paul Peacock could teach them a lesson or two about resolving residents issues.

It is one of Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s six mantras to build more homes. Do they wish though to have companies build homes, without the necessary infrastructure, so that raw sewage backs up into bathrooms and toilets. It is not a wonderful advert to entice people to pay substantial sums to purchase homes in the district.

The residents affected by the stench and the backing up of sewerage into their toilets and bathrooms, ought to seriously consider getting together and paying a solicitor to bring a private case under s82 of  The Environmental Protection Act 1990 which enables Private Citizens, the residents affected, to take their own private action directly to a Magistrates Court. I’m sure if letters were sent to Taylor Wimpey, Southern Water and Folkestone & Hythe District Council, it would focus minds to find a speedy solution to the issues residents have suffered for the last seven months and will continue to suffer – due to road closures to lay new sewage pipes – until May 2019.

Finally, the email addresses of the CEO’s of SW and TW are available to the residents and we hope the residents will take the time to drop them a line to explain their plight, politely. If this fails, then to focus minds and bring about a successful conclusion for all who are suffering from raw sewerage backing up into their toilets and bathrooms; while continuing to suffer the stench on Horn Street (Cheriton); which spoiled so many residents summer, seek a solicitor to bring a private case against SW, TW and F&HDC, under s82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

(All emails above come from an environmental information request made by our public face.)

The Shepwayvox Team – Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful

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4 Comments on The Long Read: Horn Street Stench, Part 2

  1. I am a resident who paid a substantial deposit for a new home on the St Martin’s Plain development. Thank you for highlighting this. Both Southern Water & Taylor Wimpey have been useless.

    I have written to the Chief Exec’s politely and if I do not receive a suitable response, I will seek legal help as you suggest

  2. St Martin's Plain Resident // November 25, 2018 at 10:09 // Reply

    Brilliant! As a resident affected thank you for writing about this. Getting any sense out of TW or SW has been almost impossible. Cllrs and Chief Execs are as useful as chocolate teapots.

  3. Why aren’t FHDC all over this?

    Obviously they need to take a lesson from Cllr Peacock or do we assume that those Cllrs are simply not interested in resident’s problems until April 2019 when they’ll be all over them to get themselves re-elected?

    Well…. There’s an election in May 2019 and I hope that the residents use their vote to elect councilors who do care.

  4. Surely Shepway, as they were, obtained assurances from Southern Water that sewerage infrastructure could cope with the extra flow all these new homes would require prior to granting planning permission. Or was it something of a ‘Stitch-up’, like the traffic survey relating to Horn Street bridge which was conducted during the school holidays?.

    Which of the other substantial developments have been subject to poor quality survey?

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