Protest over Chichester harbour sewage to go-ahead today

Frustrated residents are to protest a 'lack of action' on sewage in Chichester Harbour and unsustainable housing in the area.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 10:23 am
Prinsted Harbour. Pic S Robards

Campaigning outside Chichester District Council at East Pallant today (Tuesday, July 20), groups from Save Our Harbour Villages (SOHV) and Chidham and Hambrook Parish Action Group (CHPAG), representing the nine towns and villages West of Chichester.

Southern Water: Five-day release into Chichester Harbour is ‘99 per cent rain water’Also campaigning are residents from the Manhood Peninsula Action Group (MPAG), Manhope and SAS, adding their voice over concerns about water quality, sewage, nitrates and the effects of 6,000 new houses planned by the Council near Chichester Harbour shores by 2037.

The demo was organised to increase awareness of sewage issues and to get immediate action from Southern Water, the Environment Agency and Chichester Council, those responsible for waste water treatment.

Joan Foster of the Manhood Peninsula Action Group said: “Chichester Harbour water quality gets worse by the day. Every year there’s more weed, more sewage spills and more storm water releases. This is a crisis driven by a huge growth in planned new housing, as well as increased rainfall due to climate change, and all in areas that simply don’t have the sewage works capacity to cope."

Chichester Harbour: Southern Water fined £90m for untreated sewage dischargesSave Our Harbour Villages speakers are expected to focus on the lack of sewage treatment capacity at Thornham and Bosham, serving residents from Bosham west through to Emsworth in Hampshire, and the MPAG message was a similar concern over Pagham and Sidlesham sewage works on the Manhood Peninsula.

Andrew Kerry-Bedell of Save Our Harbour Villages said: “It’s obvious to residents in Parishes across Chichester, especially West along the A259 and on the Manhood, that Chichester Council isn’t willing to engage with Parishes and residents to discuss key issues that concern us.

"The whole problem is all created by new housing plans, with no sewage treatment capacity left where they say we have to build the houses.”

Southern Water has already agreed to discuss all of the capacity issues raised, but residents demanded that Chichester Council and the Environment Agency also meet with Southern Water within four weeks and work to issue a 'statement of common ground' for Thornham, Bosham, Pagham and Sidlesham, similar to the statement the Council published for Apuldram around treatment capacity and pollution issues.

Andrew continued, “We’re demanding these clear statements that say publicly what each sewage works capacity limitations are, and its implications for any future planning applications.

"This means that, when new planning applications come in, Southern Water, the EA and Chichester Council have a clear policy so that, once area sewage capacity has been used up, no housing developer should get planning permission for any more new houses until work is done by Southern Water to increase capacity.

"If it’s not technical possibly to increase capacity, then the Council can also then put a complete block on all new housing in those areas.”