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Residents to sue Thames over sewage plant smells


RESIDENTS' EFFORTS to make Thames Water install expensive odour prevention measures at its Mogden sewage works in South West London were this week gathering pace.

Growing numbers of householders are queuing up to sue the company for damaging their local environment.

'Awareness of the case is increasing. There are now over 30 homes taking action, ' said Mogden Residents Action Group committee member and civil engineer, Simon Fullalove.

Environment minister Elliot Morley last week confirmed that £42.8M has been made available for the water company to carry out the work.

'In addition to the inlet works, this will allow Thames to cover storm tanks and some of the sewerage tanks, ' he said.

Thames confi med that some investment would go into the Mogden works but said it was too early to confirm how much.

he company's £4.1bn planned investment programme for the next fi e years was slashed to £2.7bn by regulator Ofwat in December. This raised fears that the company cut back its smell reduction programme at Mogden.

Hugh James Solicitors took on the Mogden residents case in November on a 'no win no fee' basis (NCE 18 November 2004).

'We don't take on cases if we don't think we are going to win them, ' said Hugh James partner Neil Stockdale.

Mogden residents are seeking a civil injunction ordering Thames to eliminate the odours.

They are also seeking compensation for loss of enjoyment of property.

Thames lost a lengthy court battle over smells coming from the Mogden works last year (NCE 12 February 2004).

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