Compensation plea in Budleigh pub sewage row

PUBLISHED: 02:01 23 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:10 10 June 2010

SEWAGE forced a popular Budleigh Hotel to close its doors over the weekend, costing the owners more than £500 in lost revenue. John and Joan Salt said they are seeking compensation for loss of earnings after they were forced to close The Feathers on Satur

SEWAGE forced a popular Budleigh Hotel to close its doors over the weekend, costing the owners more than £500 in lost revenue.John and Joan Salt said they are seeking compensation for loss of earnings after they were forced to close The Feathers on Saturday after rancid water flooded the cellar - causing a stench that kept customers away in their droves.The blockage filled the cellar a metre deep, forcing John to call the fire service and mount a major clean-up operation.Mr Salt suspects that a blockage in Ragg Lane had caused water to back up at the manhole cover outside the pub.The pressure then caused the water to flood back into the drainage system, filling up the cellar.When the Journal spoke to Mr Salt, he had spent most of the morning disinfecting the cellar:"The smell went right up to the bedrooms - we were showing people around the rooms, but our customers had to go and find somewhere else to go - the smell was that bad."This pub is normally packed on a Saturday afternoon - but this weekend there was hardly anybody and no guests."With revenue and custom, I estimate we have lost £500 - and that isn't including the drinks and meals the guests may have ordered."In the four years since they took over the hotel they have been forced to call out South West Water 10 times "It's a major problem that still hasn't been fixed. On top of that, new houses and flats are being built all the time and the system just can't take it."It's like trying to put a quart into a pint glass." He said he would be looking for compensation: "I'm certainly not going to let this go. Enough is enough." A spokesman for SouthWest Water said that a team had been sent to help clean up the mess: "It was caused by a blockage which is not associated with any malfunction in the network, so it is out of SouthWest Waters' control."Earlier this year the hotel was forced to close after a fire that started in the waste bin damaged the kitchen.

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