Permit to pollute on River Lambourn raises fears that new housebuilding will cause national decline in water quality.
The Environment Agency has caused outrage amongst local campaigners in West Berkshire by issuing a discharge permit which will allow poor quality effluent from a new housing development to be discharged into the River Lambourn, a precious chalk stream that is famed for its wildlife and fly fishing and protected as a Special Area of Conservation, the highest designation. An alternative option of discharging the sewage from the new development into the main sewer for more treatment to higher standards was rejected due to higher cost.
The Angling Trust is encouraging all anglers throughout the UK to get behind the local campaign and to sign the national 38 degrees petition, not only to protect this particular river, but also because this looks set to be a national issue with all the political parties pledging to build hundreds of thousands of new homes in the next parliament. The Trust believes that all new housing developments should employ the best available technology to treat sewage and minimise water use to avoid untold damage to the nation’s water environment, as set out in the Blueprint for Water, supported by 16 national organisations.
The Trust is writing to Environment Agency to challenge its decision to allow inferior quality ‘secondary treated sewage’ to be discharged directly into a chalk stream. It is also writing to Natural England asking for its assessment of the impact of the discharge on the river’s Special Area of Conservation status.
A recent assessment of waterbodies by the Environment Agency found that just 17% of waterbodies are in good ecological status and the regulator’s latest draft river basin management plans do […]