Today, once again, a telephone call from an architect wanting advice for his client on sewage treatment options for a building plot. There is no mains drainage nearby and - NO POSSIBILITY OF ANY SANITATION AT ALL.
His client has bought the building plot, with full planning permission but with the foul water system as a reserved matter. The plot is in an Inner Groundwater Source Protection Zone, so no soakaways are allowed. This rules out septic tanks and sewage treatment plants discharging to ground. The plot is too small for a soakaway in any case.
The plot has no watercourses or surface water drains nearby. This rules out sewage treatment plants discharging to watercourse.
The only other option is a sealed cesspool that has no outlet. These cost the average family of 4 around £7000/year in emptying charges. The problem is that the cesspool would need to be a minimum 40,000L to conform with Building Regulations and has to be situated a minimum 7M from any building. The plot is too small to fit one in.
In short, no sanitation is possible for this plot. What a nightmare for the poor owner and his family.
In our opinion, the planning laws should be changed. Foul drainage should NEVER be a reserved matter as without sanitation a house is just a shed. Purchasers buy building plots with Full Planning thinking that all aspects of the build have been approved - and they should have been. This poor man now has a mortgage on a piece of land that is useless. Our hearts go out to him, his partner and their unborn baby.
Never buy a Building Plot without full foul drainage system plans and approvals. Your new plot may well be WORTHLESS if you do.