North West Wales

Holyhead stable loses £4k after Welsh Water repairs

Horses grazing on damaged land Image copyright Roberta Brooks

The owner of stables on Anglesey has said she lost nearly £4,000 in income due to Welsh Water installing pipes on her land.

Roberta Brooks added the work at her Holyhead property caused thousands of pounds' of damage which has not been repaired.

She said contractors regularly left her gates open, with horses escaping.

Welsh Water said it sometimes needed to cross private land but liaised closely with landowners.

It added it was "committed to working" with Ms Brooks to resolve the matter and appreciated her cooperation.

Image copyright Roberta Brooks
Image copyright Roberta Brooks
Image caption Ms Brooks says she was not consulted about manholes, taps and a water outlet which appeared on her property

Ms Brooks said she received assurances before the work began, in December 2015, that any damage would be repaired - but she has had to obtain quotes for the repairs herself to submit to Welsh Water and the work has still not been done.

"I've been banging my head against a brick wall for months," she said.

She was given £1,500 in compensation, but says her costs have risen thousands above this figure.

Ms Brooks estimates she has lost £3,620 in rental income from people keeping their horses on her land, and if she ends up footing the bill for the damage caused too, her costs could reach £10,000.

She has also experienced flooding since the work was completed and is no longer able to use one of her paddocks.

"I don't think I've made any money [since the work began]," she said.

"Any money I make over summer goes towards sustaining me over the winter, everything I make goes back into the land."

Image copyright Roberta Brooks
Image copyright Roberta Brooks
Image caption Ms Brooks says her land was used to store equipment - and a portable toilet was set up

Ms Brooks said her clients removed their horses from her land after she had to inform them contractors left gates open meaning horses could mingle - potentially risking their health. She also had to rescue some which were heading towards the road.

"When the gate was first left open to the road I contacted Welsh Water and they said it wouldn't happen again, but it happened time and time again.

"In the end they stopped returning my calls," Ms Brooks said.

She added Welsh Water had changed their plans from the drawings originally submitted to her, seen by BBC Wales, and rather than just laying a pipe had also installed taps, a water outlet, manhole covers and a gate.

A Welsh Water spokeswoman said: "One of our main priorities at Welsh Water is to provide our customers with a reliable supply of clean, fresh drinking water.

"That is why last year we invested over £1m in replacing 4km of water main in Holyhead, Anglesey.

"To help us achieve this, we sometimes need to cross private land. In these circumstances, we always liaise closely with all relevant landowners in advance of the work starting.

"We are aware of the issues raised by Mrs Brooks and continue to liaise with her regarding the matter. We have requested additional information and will review this as soon as it has been received."

Image copyright Roberts Brooks
Image caption Ms Brooks had spent money on new fencing before the work took place
Image copyright Roberta Brooks
Image caption The paddock Ms Brooks can no longer use