TRADERS have hit out after their landlords blamed recent bad weather for dodgy drains spilling sewage into their shops.

Crumbling pipes under the Laindon Centre have been causing a stench and landing business owners with hefty bills for months.

The issue affects the row of shops that includes Pints ‘n’ Litres, Laindon Cleaners, Laindon Pizza and Kebabs and an empty shop.

Administrators BDO blamed the leaks on “recent extreme weather” and said “no prior reports of sewage problems” had been received.

Roy Hudson, owner of offlicence Pints ‘n’ Litres, who uses two cans of air freshener a day to mask the foul smell, said: “What they have said is rubbish.

“We have been telling security for the past two months about this and they said they would pass it on to BDO and it would be sorted.

“It has nothing to do with the weather. The drains are crushed and we know that.

“If you were to walk into the empty shop, you would walk out being sick. That’s what the security guard did when they went in.”

Mr Hudson claimed, when specialists came to replace pipes connecting his shop, they said a whole new network was needed for the rest of the row of shops.

He said: “It cost £18,000 to do part of my drain two years ago, so this will cost about £30,000 and I can’t see them forking out anything. It’s disgusting.

It makes me so annoyed, because nothing is being done.”

Laundrette Laindon Cleaners has spent hundreds of pounds refunding customers and re-spinning washing because dirty water clogs up the pipes.

BDO repeated it had not received any reports of sewage problems, but said it would now investigate and “take appropriate action”.