DISGRUNTLED villagers are kicking up a stink claiming Langham’s sewer system cannot handle a new housing development.

Linden Homes applied to Colchester Council to build 46 houses off School Road in 2018.

The plans included an open space, new pedestrian paths and 96 parking spaces - including parking spaces for the nearby Langham Primary School.

However, the developer was required to provide written confirmation from the Environment Agency that adequate waste water and sewerage treatment capacity was available to serve the development before building commences.

But the developer is now seeking planning permission from Colchester Council to build on the land without complying to that condition.

The condition was put in place to prevent pollution of the water and protect the groundwater quality in the area in the interests of health and safety.

The Environment Agency has said it cannot recommend the removal of the condition because of data that indicates Langham Water Recycling Centre is technically over capacity.

A spokesman for the agency said: “Accordingly, the condition cannot be discharged, and the development cannot lawfully proceed.”

However, Anglian Water, which is the relevant sewerage undertaker, has confirmed it considers there is capacity to treat sewerage from the development and it will connect the development to the system.

A statement from Anglian Water said there is no evidence that development would cause a detrimental impact on water quality.

Catherine Stratton, who lives in Langham, said she, and many other residents, are concerned about the impact of the development as the sewerage system has not been updated since the 1970s.

She added: “If it rains badly we get raw sewerage come up out of the drains and everyone is so upset about this development.”

About a dozen residents have lodged objections to the council so far.

One objection said: “I object to the removal of this condition on the grounds that the existing sewerage infrastructure does not have sufficient capacity to support the proposed additional dwellings.

“There are already daily tanker movement to support the current housing which will obviously increase and therefore and a detrimental impact on the quality of life for those living on the route.”

A statement from Linden Homes said: “There is nothing the developer can do directly to increase waste water treatment capacity; it is beyond their power to bring about.”

Colchester Council has the final say on the plans.