Call for urgent action over‘horrendous stench’ outside restaurant

Restaurant owner Mustak Miah outside his restaurant in Burgess Hill
Restaurant owner Mustak Miah outside his restaurant in Burgess Hill

A restaurant owner is at the end of his tether because of a ‘horrendous’ stench of sewage outside his premises.

Mustak Miah has been running the restaurant - called Flavour in Keymer Road, Burgess Hill - for the past seven years and says he has been plagued by the unpleasant odour since before Christmas.

He has complained to both West Sussex County Council and Southern Water, who, he says, have investigated, but nothing has been done to fix the problem.

Now he fears that he is losing trade because of the unpleasant odour that wafts from the street into his restaurant.

“It’s a worry,” he said; “I’m running a food business and it’s not nice having this smell right outside my door. Something needs to be done ASAP.

“When you come out at 9 or 10 o’clock, oh my God, you have to hold your nose to walk around. It’s not just me, it’s a hazard to the general public as well.”

He said both himself and other businesses in the area had complained to the county council and water officials, but each seemed to say it was the other’s responsibility.

Now Mid Sussex Councillor Anne Jones has taken up Mr Miah’s call for action. She said: “The smell from the drains in front of his restaurant is horrendous. It really is awful. It’s been going on since before Chirstmas and it needs to be dealt with urgently.”

She said Mr Miah had made a lot of effort building up his business “and the food is lovely but this has gone on far too long.”

A spokeswoman for Southern Water said: “A Southern Water crew visited the location in Keymer Road in December 2015 and again in January 2016, and each time used CCTV to check the public sewers in front of the restaurant.

“Following these investigations, we discovered no blockages or related issues with the public sewerage system that could be the cause of the smell reported by the restaurant owner.

“However, we understand the customer’s concerns and therefore will continue to support the relevant local authorities while they work to pinpoint the cause of the issue.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “It appears an unknown local business is discharging its dirty water into our drainage system. We are working with the Environmental Health Authority to resolve this issue.

“Separately there is an issue with some damage in one of our pipes. We have arranged to dig a trial hole adjacent to the pipe to understand what has happened here.”