Chichester Observer


- Bex Bastable bex.bastable@nationalwo­

Protestors lined the A259 from Emsworth to Fishbourne to say ‘enough is enough’ on the destructio­n of the Chichester Harbour and its villages.

The action took place on Saturday (November 26), from 10am to midday, where the ‘Mayday’ campaign group encouraged residents to stand with placards in safe spots along the roads in protest.

The campaign is speaking out against the ‘severe threat’ the area faces from overdevelo­pment and sewage discharges into the harbour.

Organiser Bruce Garrett said: “Mayday Action Group set out to connect and catalyse a broad range of common interest groups West of Chichester. We say a massive, massive thank you to all those people of all ages who not only turned out on Saturday between Langstone and Fishbourne and many, many points between - Emsworth; Southbourn­e; Nutbourne; Chidham and Hambrook, and Bosham – and to all those passers-by who very loudly and clearly hooted their support.”

Sewage overflow and discharges in the area were a major focus of a protest by Harbour Village residents on Saturday (November 26) along the A259.

It comes amid calls for the Government to give water companies the powers to be statutory consultees on major planning applicatio­ns rather than being required to connect new estates to the network when there is not sufficient capacity.

Capacity issues in the area have led to discharges into the harbour and campaigner­s say this has to stop.

Bruce Garrett, of the Mayday Action Group, which organised the protest on Saturday, said: “We absolutely agree that Southern Water and all water utilities should be made statutory consultees on all planning applicatio­ns.

"It is manifestly wrong for Southern Water to be legally obliged to issue positive letters to developers seeking planning approval or fighting appeals when Southern Water know that their assets and infrastruc­ture cannot provide such additional capacity.

“The Government must listen and act to correct this crazy situation as a matter of urgency if our harbours and well-being are to be saved.”

It comes as a report by the National Infrastruc­ture Commission (NIC) shows that surface water flooding is a risk to 325,000 properties, with a more than 60 per cent chance that they will flood within 30 years. And the issue goes hand in hand with sewage overflows. Andrew Kerry-bedell, West Sussex county councillor for Bourne, said: “This was just one reason over 1,000 residents braved the winter weather along a 14-mile stretch of the A259 from Langstone to Fishbourne last Saturday.

“Ultimately this also means Government should enable water companies to be statutory undertaker­s on both sewage capacity and storm sewage overflows on all new planning applicatio­ns and appeals. This will remove once and for all the crazy situation where Southern Water is forced to connect new housing developmen­ts to their network, even when they know there is minimal or no sewage capacity and also a greatly increased risk of storm sewage overflows affecting local residents.”

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 ?? ?? Chichester harbour protest to say ‘Enough is enough’. Photo by Derek Martin Photograph­y and Art.
Chichester harbour protest to say ‘Enough is enough’. Photo by Derek Martin Photograph­y and Art.

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