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Homeowners faced with £5,886 sewage repair bill
CODFORD villagers are facing bills of thousands of pounds to replace sewage treatment works run by Selwood Housing.
The housing association has sent out letters demanding homeowners in The Grove pay £5,886 per home within a year to cover the costs of refurbishing their sewage treatment plant.
And those living in nearby Cherry Orchard face bills of £2,640 for the works serving their homes to be brought up to Environment Agency standards.
But while homeowners foot the bill for the work, which is expected to cost £306,000 for both sites, tenants of Selwood Housing will not be charged.
The Grove resident Jamie Hunt said: “We just haven’t got the money to pay this, no one here has. We can’t pay what we don’t have.”
The residents are required to contribute to the costs of any work needed at the sewage treatment plant through conditions imposed when they bought their houses, but have already been paying £50 a month for maintenance of the plant for several years.
Mr Hunt said: “Where has all that money been going if the plant isn’t working?”
Another resident, Patricia Saunders, added: “The instalments they are asking for are ridiculous, more than some people are paying for their mortgage.”
Codford Parish Council chairman Romy Wyeth said: “We’re incredibly concerned about people being put in the situation where money is being demanded from them. People are very worried and very upset. Many of them are elderly, some have retired and a lot of them are about to retire, those working are mostly in fairly low paid rural jobs.
“It’s a ridiculous amount of money, especially at this time when we are in a recession.”
Selwood said it has given the homeowners regular notice since 2009, when the plant in The Grove failed, that the treatment works would need replacing.
A spokesman said the £50 monthly bills residents have been paying were for ongoing maintenance and encouraged residents to contact them if they will have difficulty paying the refurbishment bill.
She said: “We are being as flexible as we can with when people pay and we have given people a lot of notice that the work was coming.
“As a charity we have a duty to ensure that we get the best value for money for our tenants’ rents and while we sympathise with the homeowners, our focus is providing homes for people who can’t afford to buy a home or even to rent one in the private sector.”