HC Deb 06 March 1888 vol 323 cc359-60
MR. DIXON-HARTLAND (Middlesex, Uxbridge)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether an hotel is now being built on the eyot near Weybridge Ferry; whether the plans for this hotel, originally submitted to the Chertsey Rural Sanitary Authority, were disapproved because they showed no arrangement for dealing with the sewage; whether the amended plans showed earth closets, with the explanation that all liquid sewage would be distributed on the osier bed, and, of course, eventually find it way into the River; whether this eyot has frequently been under water during the winter, and whether the Thames Conservancy have, either themselves or through their contractors for the new weir at Shepperton, supplied gravel and sand to endeavour to raise the site above the flood level; whether the intake of the Walton Waterworks Company is only about 1,000 yards below the eyot; whether the Chertsey Rural Authority made representations to the Thames Conservators as to the pollution of the River which must necessarily ensue, and only received the reply that every precaution would be taken to endeavour to prevent the sewage reaching the stream; whether the Chertsey Authority forwarded the plans of the hotel to the Local Go- vernment Board, who returned them as 1 unable to assist the Authority in dealing with the matter; whether the Conservators have recently prosecuted the same Chertsey Authority for alleged pollution of the River by a small drain falling into a brook nearly two miles from the River, and recovered £50 penalty; and, whether he is able to take any, and, if so, what steps to prevent the Conservators thus permitting the pollution of the River?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

An hotel is being built on the eyot near Weybridge Ferry. According to the description which accompanied the plans submitted to the Sanitary Authority in January last, all the closets are to be on the earth system and slop water is to be disposed of in the kitchen garden, which, it is stated, will exceed half-an-acre in extent. I am informed by the Thames Conservators that, on the occasion of high floods, the eyot is under water in the winter mouths. The owner is camp shedding and repairing it, and they have sold to him material raised by the dredges which has been used for this purpose. The statements in the Question as to the communications which have passed between the Chertsey Sanitary Authority, the Thames Conservators, and the Local Government Board, and as to the prosecution of the Chertsey Sanitary Authority for pollution of the river are, I believe, correct. I have not precise information as to the distance of the intake of the Water Company from the eyot; but it is at no great distance. The Local Government Board have themselves no power in this matter. They have, however, received a communication from the Thames Conservators, in which they state that— The Conservators have no jurisdiction over the eyot, or over buildings erected on it. They have powers under their Acts of Parliament to prevent the pollution of the River; but until pollution actually takes place they have no grounds of action. They have instructed their officers to take the greatest precaution to detect the passage of sewage, or other offensive or injurious matter, into the River from the eyot in question; and if pollution takes place the Conservators will enforce the provisions of the Thames Acts. The Conservators add that buildings are already in existence on several of the Islands of the Thames,