How far does the smell reach?

11 years ago...

I wonder if anyone can advise. I know that the Berrylands smell is often the topic of conversation but I wondered if anyone knows whether it regularly affects The Crest? We are some way towards buying a house on The Crest and when we went to visit recently we were alarmed to get hit by the smell quite badly in the back garden. I would like to find out how bad the smell is and how often it occurs? As it is winter at the moment and we could smell it, would it be safe to assume that it could be much much worse in the warm summer months? We need to know this before committing to a big house purchase. Many thanks for any advice.


We were really worried about the smell when we bought our house at Villiers Close. We’ve lived there for over a year now and have never had any issue with the smell. They seem to have invested a lot over the last few years on treating and containing the smell.

Hi, we bought a property in Pembroke Avenue in August last year. Before making the decision we were quite worried about all the mentions we found about "Smellylands", there seem to be plenty, but we couldn't see much updated information....everything seemed to be quite old, at least from 2011 or older. I believe there have been relatively recent works in the sewage plant in order to treat the foul odors. In our experience, with the exception of a few days in November, when we could smell it for a couple, maybe three, days, I must say it's been more than fine. You get the odd faint whiff (I remember reading something about that being unavoidable every time they open the containers for repair or maintainance) but nothing that offending....certainly better than Venice in a hot day, where I come from!). Instead we got a great house at a good price, compared to Surbiton, and now we are spending the difference in refurbishing it completely. If you are a commuter, the station is around the corner and you have also the option to take the K2 to Surbiton to catch the fast train. Also I must say there is a great community spirit and our neighbours are absolutely fantastic. We are very happy with our decision!
By the way, you might want to check the recent improvement plans; they are building additional accommodation for Kingston University just in front of the plant, so the whole area will be improved. Good luck with your decision.

Where did you see the new about the student village being built on the sewage works?

This was planned about 5 years ago but was thrown out in the face of much local outrage. It might have been re-submitted, but I'd be surprised it has slipped under the radar as it was such big news locally before. The local newspaper website even had a separate section dedicated to it!

Apart from anything, I can't imagine that Kingston University is thriving given the problems most institutions are having since tuition fees. Kingston's main strength appears to be it's location that allows students to commute in negating the need for more accommodation.

The last time I checked, general acceptance of this student village proposal had been smuggled in as part of the council's strategic planning strategy. It was adopted in 2012.
The document can be found here

Page 17 states "The Hogsmill Valley will be transformed into a green public space with some new facilities and buildings such as student accommodation. Major investment in the infrastructure will have been funded in particular to upgrade access and to improve the Thames Water sewage works to a high environmental standard."

The changes were consulted on, but the consultation was a farce. I went to a workshop type event where we were split into 2 groups of 12 and asked for our opinions. Every single person in the group was against putting more student housing on the existing site. Reasons given were that
1. Students themselves would prefer to be in Kingston town, not in a quiet place far away from both the university's and Kingston's facilities.
2. Residents didn't want them because their anti social behaviour disturbed a quiet family oriented neighbourhood
3. The tower block proposed was totally out of keeping with the character of the area
4. Transport was rubbish for students
5. Security was poor for students, walking up a proposed secluded laneway
6. Having more people living in Kingston town centre would have a regenerative effect and stop most parts of the town centre becoming sterile and lifeless once the shops closed.

Despite the unanimous opposition, none of the real feedback made it into the official consultation comments, fraudulently minuted by some young girl in planning. The consultation was a blatant act of deception. The planners had made up their minds already, and weren't having the public diverting them in any way. A follow up consultation was quietly held in the Berrylands pub back room on the last shopping saturday before Christmas. Not surprisingly, hardly anybody pitched up.

Apart from 800 students in a new 8 story tower block, the other gems approved were
1. The creation of a new linear parkway linking the Cambridge estate to the existing Green Lane park behind Berrylands
2. Approval of a larger sewage plant to handle increased sewage generated by new housing in Worcester Park
3. Making Berrylands station the main transport destination for Wimbledon AFC fans by creating a new pathway to the Kingsmeadow stadium, and closing existing access from the Cambridge Rd side.

When you add all that lot up, you can see why they weren't exactly trumpeting the changes to the public.

Thanks very much for the info. I can't believe this has got through unchanged after there was so much opposition last time.

It does not effect me personally as much as it would have done as I now live in a different part of Surbiton, but I do feel sorry for the people of Berrylands. This proposal will see a massive influx of students, football fans and Cambridge Estate residents into an area that is ill-equipped for any of those groups.

As you rightly say, this is bad news for the students as well as they won't want to be stuck in one of the quietest, most family-orientated areas of the borough. The Clayhill halls of residence are bad enough, but at least they have reasonably easy access to Surbiton town centre even if Kingston is too far to walk.

It is not going to be fun for the residents of Grove Lane as the students make their way back along there after a boozy Monday night out. I thought I had noticed a lot of houses on that street coming onto the market lately, and now I know why.

After a few years, these student halls will lie empty anyway if Kingston University admissions keep dropping the way they have so far.

You'd only ever get the smell in The Crest if BOTH of these happen.

1. it's a bad smell day at the works - generally there aren't too many per year. I'd guess about 20 days max per year. Most of the time the smell is under control, and only faintly detectable if you're in the lower parts of Berrylands near the station. The smell generally doesn't travel up the hill to Berrylands' higher streets such as The Crest.

2. there's is a light/moderate north easterly wind blowing at the time - 20% chance of an north easterly in UK, about 2/3rds of which would be light/moderate. A strong easterly would disperse any smell. Roughly 13% probability on any given day.

Overall rough probablility 3 days a year.
Not very high in other words.

Thanks, I really appreciate this. It sounds like you really know your stuff! Do you live near The Crest?

I live near the crest !

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

By posting content on, you agree to adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Your username and password must only be used by you, keep them safe. If a posting is made using your username and password it will be considered to have been posted by you. If you have a friend who wants to use our site and post messages on the site, show them how to register.
  • Be courteous at all times, inciting racial hatred, posting abusive, obscene, threatening, harassing, defamatory, libellous or sexually explicit material or any material that is found to be offensive is not acceptable and we may suspend your username and password.
  • Retaliating to offensive posts causes more problems for other users on the discussion boards. Just report such messages to us using the Feedback link which is available at the top of every page or the 'report this' link associated with individual postings. We will act on every report we receive.
  • Please respect other people's work and do not post material that infringes copyright.
  • Do not post information that you know to be confidential or sensitive or otherwise in breach of the law. You should only post material that you know to be public knowledge. If you have any doubts do not post it on the site.
  • Never attempt to gain unauthorised access to any area of the site. This is known as hacking and is illegal.
  • Content posted represents the opinions of the author, and does not represent the opinions of or its affiliates and has not been approved or issued by You should be aware that the other participants are strangers to you and may make statements which may be misleading, deceptive or wrong.
  • Spoofing or posing as another user is unacceptable. Anonymous users' postings should always be considered with suspicion.
  • Help keep a safe place for information and opinion. Please alert us of any anti-social behaviour as described above.
Please note that does not monitor the comments posted and we are therefore reliant upon users reporting antisocial behaviour.