Drains row homeowner advised to ‘use a bucket’

DOWN THE DRAIN: Family claim their �450,000 could be cut off by the proposed bypass
DOWN THE DRAIN: Family claim their �450,000 could be cut off by the proposed bypass
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A man whose country cottage could be cut off from the drains by a new road claims a council officer told him: “Use a bucket.”

Simon Watson, whose £450,000 home in upmarket D’Urton Lane will be just yards from the proposed Broughton Bypass, told the third day of the public inquiry he could lose everything if the property is cut off.

I live in fear every day of having to leave our property, which we have worked long and hard for

Simon Watson

“The house is at risk of becoming uninhabitable,” he told government inspector Diane Lewis. “But when I put that risk to a senior LCC officer he said that wasn’t correct because the council was aware of others who use a bucket.”

The eastern route of the bypass will take traffic off the busy A6 and through countryside behind 160-year-old Grays Cottage. The county council is seeking a compulsory purchase order to grab land between his garden and the village parish church.

But the road would come so close to the rear of his property that there would be no room to install a “soakaway” system on adjacent land to filter water from his septic tank.

“I live in fear every day of having to leave our property, which we have worked long and hard for,” he told the hearing at Preston Grasshoppers Club. “That’s the real impact of this scheme. It is majorly upsetting to me, it’s affecting my family relationships, it’s affecting everything.”

“If we are cut off from the drains then it would render our property valueless. We might be left homeless. And it isn’t very helpful when people suggest buckets being used. You’d need a pretty big bucket to empty the bath.”

John Barrett, on behalf of LCC, insisted Mr Watson had been given plenty of time to improve or replace the septic tank, or produce an alternative disposal system after it was discovered in a dye test that water from the tank was finding its way into a nearby brook.

“This council has consistently met its legal responsibilities in full,” he told Mr Watson. “We are not going to stop any legal rights you have.”