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Power in hands of developers


I refer to your correspondent HG Longlands' misinformed letter (NCE 28 March/4 April).

Unlike the powers within various highways acts in respect of roads, there are no powers within any of the public health acts to allow a local authority (or utility company) to require a developer to construct sewers to a standard which would permit their adoption as public sewers.

The former Institute of Public Health Engineering (now CIWEM), the Institution (now Association) of Municipal Engineers and the former Association of Chief Technical Officers have all petitioned various governments to create such powers to protect residents from just the situations which Longlands describes.

Unfortunately, the developers' lobby is much more powerful than the institutions;

it does, after all, finance both major political parties.

In consequence, the pleas of those trying to protect the public have been ignored. If Longlands wishes to castigate anyone for what, I agree, is an unsatisfactory state of affairs, he should direct his anger at developers who care little for their customers or politicians who care even less for their electorate.

R Huskinson (F), borough technical services officer, Borough of Chesterfield, Technical Services Department, Town Hall, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S40 1LP

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