RESIDENTS have reacted with anger and frustration at plans being put forward by Thames Water to extend the sewer network in North Swindon by installing two storage tanks on Queen Elizabeth Drive.

The water company has said it is to prevent flooding and to support future housing developments in the area, such as Tadpole Farm.

But locals say not only will the work cause a huge amount of disruption during construction, but it will also create a huge smell, as the tanks will be ventilated.

The proposals were first put to residents in the summer, but after coming up against strong opposition from residents and councillors, Thames Water said it would go away to reconsider the plans.

The updated scheme will see the tanks being put in at the same place but with several surrounding alterations, including six foot high vents being placed at ground level.

Local residents have likened the new plans to Groundhog Day, believing they are very similar to the previous proposal. They say alternative locations have not been given enough consideration.

David Parkinson, 50, of Queen Elizabeth Drive, said: “It beggars belief how they think they are going to get away with this.

“The new plans look simply as though they have been put forward so the company can avoid having to go for as much planning permission.

“When we first saw the plans we were told the ventilation pipes were being put in to avoid the smell in the houses, but now they have put it at ground level, which will surely exasperate the problem.”

One of the main reasons being given is that it will help upgrade the network in preparation for housing developments, leaving residents wondering why they should have to deal with the problems elsewhere.

Many of the residents have suggested moving the site to Mouldon Hill, but Thames Water has rejected the suggestion.

“Mouldon Hill would be a much better place for them to locate the two tanks but it would appear that is not somewhere they will consider,” said David.

“For me it seems far more sensible to put the tanks away from where people are living. One reason given for the tanks is that they will help deal with flooding problems but with all the recent rain we have had I have not seen any flooding here.

“Thames Water have said to me the tanks can overflow so in effect they are creating a potential flood problem in an area which does not have a problem at the moment.”

Thames Water has organised a drop-in session next Wednesday with its contractors for residents and say that it will address concerns then.

A spokesman for the company said: “We understand that residents have some questions about the work we’re proposing in Taw Hill and encourage them to come and see us at the drop-in session on Wednesday so we can discuss them face to face.”

The drop-in session will be held at St Francis CE School on Aitken Road in Taw Hill between 4pm and 8pm.