Campaigning residents whose gardens have been turned into a quagmire due to an ageing water main have finally seen their calls for help heeded.
Several bursts to the main serving the Nest Estate, Mytholmroyd, in the past couple of years - including three in the last few weeks - have left home owners and tenants frustrated and angry as no agency appeared to want to take responsibility.
But after furious campaigning by residents, led by Jade Smith, and ward councillors an end to the problem could be in the pipeline.
Yorkshire Water, Pennine Housing and Calderdale Council have now issued a joint statement pledging to work together to resolve the long-standing problems with the “unadopted, ageing and burst-prone” water main.
The statement said: “In the last few years the pipe has burst on numerous occasions, leading to temporary disruption or low pressure to customers’ water supply.
“On each occasion the pipe has been repaired but unfortunately we have reached a point where it is now at the end of its natural life. All the partners are committed to working together on a long-term solution.”
The news delighted Liberal Democrat ward councillor Christine Bampton-Smith, who said: “This situation has been going on for far too long and Jade has worked tirelessly to get it back on the agenda.”
Jade, who has written to Yorkshire Water’s chief executive Richard Flint asking for £50,000 towards the project, said: “They have been collecting water rates from the estate since 1989 without contributing to the upkeep of the infrastructure, apart from one or two ‘free’ repairs because otherwise they would miss their leakage target.
“I want what’s right for the estate and for Pennine.”
She has organised a meeting on Tuesday, October 1, at Mytholmroyd Community Centre (7.30pm) for residents to compile any questions they would like to ask the agencies, who are planning their own subsequent public meeting.
Angela Stuttard, Together Housing Group Head of Asset Management, which includes Pennine Housing, said: “We are fully aware of the problems on the estate and can sympathise with all the re but they can rest assured rest assured that all parties are working hard to resolve these issues.
“It is important to point out that Pennine Housing 2000 only owns 37 out of a total of 96 properties on the estate and it is with those tenants our duty of care lies.
“Although the mains supply is not Pennine Housing 2000’s sole responsibility, we have set aside £300,000 to lay the new drain which will go ahead as soon as the tendering process is complete, a contractor is appointed and our partners, Yorkshire Water, can oversee the process.
“Private residents will not be asked to contribute to the costs of laying the new water main but they will be required to pay if they wish to connect to the new supply as they are responsible for connection to their own property.
“Pennine Housing 2000’s tenants willof course, not have to pay as this is covered by their tenancy agreement.”
Residents can keep up to date with developments by visiting the newly launched website www.nestsburstpipe.co.uk, which has been set up by Nest Estate resident Sam Gould.