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Rubery residents call for action over smelly River Rea on New Road

Guest Nicole

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Guest Nicole


A ROTTEN smell lingering around the River Rea on New Road in Rubery is causing concern among residents, who claim the site is a danger to children.

Last week the Advertiser published a story about an alleged illegal business running from a car park next to the New Rose & Crown pub, with one woman describing the debris-covered land as an “eye-sore”.

But other residents have since claimed that the car park, which leads on to the river bank, is also a health and safety hazard and an “accident waiting to happen”.

Rednal resident Jennifer Edwards, 79, is a member of the Rubery Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which regularly holds meetings at the Kingdom Hall on the other side of the river.

She said: “It’s not just an eye-sore. More seriously it’s a health and safety danger now. The bank on the car park looks like it could collapse. There’s no fence, no hedge. If someone fell in they could drown, or even if they swallowed some of that dirty water, they could get some kind of poisoning.

“That river rises up so quickly and the bank is so unstable. What if children were playing near there? It’s so dangerous.”

According to Mrs Edwards, the water in the river is either low-level with a foul smell, or dangerously high and fast-moving, dependant on the weather.

She said: “Last week the River Rea was an obscure little trickle and covered in scum, then after the heavy rain last Friday it had turned into a raging torrent. I saw how high it was on Friday because I crossed the bridge over it.

“All last week the smell from it was terrible – it was just a smelly trickle of water.”

Mrs Edwards says the smell is frequently a problem in the summer.

Derek Millward, 67, who also lives near to the site, said: “The river is full of debris and it needs cleaning out. It’s an accident waiting to happen. On Saturday it was really bad, when it was raining. The amount of debris in there made the water rise up and it went right up to the bank. There’s a bridge where people go to Kingdom Hall there, and the river was as high as the bridge.”

Severn Trent Water, which is responsible for cleaning sewage in the area, said it has not received any complaints about the river, but plans to investigate the potential pollution problem.

A spokesperson for Bromsgrove District Council said: “We do carry out inspections of the watercourses and we did receive a complaint about the state of the brook at this location.

“As we couldn’t access this section ourselves we did contact the land owners to advise of their responsibility to maintain the brook and indeed will continue to follow this up.”


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