Local planning applications affecting the river/estuary – the ACA viewpoint


1. South Efford House -(Planning Application no. 02/1425/09)

The ACA is concerned about the possible discharge into the river of ‘foul effluent’ following the planned addition of a further 5 en-suite bedrooms and disabled toilet in this latest planning application from the nursing home at South Efford.   Since the original and extant Consent  to Discharge from the Environment Agency(EA Licence no. 203301) was only for a single domestic property rather than a commercial nursing home with a possible 22 residents, a variation of the licence (as required by the latest conditional planning approval – see below) is more than a little overdue!   It turns out that the EA has had to solicit this application for a new Consent to Discharge from the applicant, following our enquiries, and the EA has assured us that the effluent will be monitored (unlike most discharges).      There is an additional risk of flooding in this area, as identified by SHDC Environmental Health Dept.   Although the EA rate the risk of flooding of the house itself as low, it is not clear what safeguards will be put in place to prevent flooding of the new sewage treatment system.  The ACA sees a need for much closer liaison and collaboration between the EA and Building Control in any building development  involving sewerage so close to a watercourse and so susceptible to flooding a) to ensure tighter control and compliance with the planning and development process b) to prevent potentially disastrous consequences for the environment and c) to prevent equally unwelcome financial consequences for the applicant.  


Prior to occupation of the extension hereby approved, the new sewage treatment plant shown in the details submitted on 21st September 2009 shall have been installed and brought into operation.

Reason: To ensure that the sewage treatment system has an adequate capacity to deal with the additional use that the extended building will create.


This decision notice refers to drawings SE/01 (location plan), SE/03, SE/05, SE/07, SE/08, SE/09 and the flood risk assessment received on 12th August 2009 and the sewage treatment system details received on 21st September 2009.

You (i.e. the applicant) should note that a ‘Consent to Discharge’ will be required from the Environment Agency for the foul effluent discharge into the river.