Langstone Harbour Talk
Please note: for those critical of the Islander's photo above our November Article, HIRA had nothing to do with the Islander's choice of this photo nor were we consulted about its use.
At HIRA’s October Public Meeting Langstone Harbour Master, Mr. Nigel Jardine, gave a highly entertaining yet very informative presentation on his team’s work and Langstone Harbour Board’s (LHB) statutory responsibilities for the Harbour. Answerable to the Department of Transport, LHB’s principle functions are Conservancy, Pilotage, Marine Safety, Moorings, the Environment, Consultee (only) re Planning and responsibility up to Mean High Water. For all Harbour users, there are enforceable speed restrictions and fees for any boat’s Harbour useage.
Whilst leisure users’ unthinking, sometimes intoxicated behaviour raised laughter in the Hall, jet skiers’ cavalier, often post lunch antics, frequently threaten their own and others’ safety. Whilst LHB does prosecute offenders, not only does this cost thousands of pounds, current e-buying can make tracking owners exceptionally difficult. Blatant vandalism of trashed cars pushed into the mud also costs LHB a great deal to remove.
What of Langstone’s SSSI, Special Area of Conservation, SPA, Ramsar site for birds and other wildlife? In addition to the wonderful nesting and visiting birds, seals frequent all areas of the Solent, but dolphins in the harbour usually mean they are injured. Apart from people getting too close to nesting birds, plastics are now not only a terrible shoreline blight but we now realize marine life mistakenly consume them and micro plastic enters our own food chain.
As for waste water discharges, LHB encouraged Southern Water’s public notifications by hosting them in the interests of providing Water Quality advice to Harbour users, but these discharges are consented to by the Environment Agency (EA).
Insight into Hayling’s Stoke Pumping Station’s September 14th’ failure previously reported, provides an example of EA’s responsibilities as they work closely with SW.
Unfortunately for the affected homes, the EA only flushed the western ditch across the road; the EA’s concern was to remove the toxic metals and hydrocarbons – hazardous pollutants from our vehicles – from the surrounding environment, having to choose between ecological and human health. The EA claims that ultraviolet light will decompose the raw sewage in the ditch closest to homes affected, but the ditch is very overgrown and the initial feet deep sewage could not easily be seen. How quickly will the sewage deteriorate and does it pose a danger to local people and pets? What of the original water course drainage through the field, now filled in and for which the EA also had responsibility?
Over the past 4 months including mid October, more residents in a relatively new development, have had sewage failure whose source SW have yet to discover. Using rods, then cameras, struggling to find a modern home’s manhole – another one positioned exactly on a fence boundary between properties – leaves owners doubting the existing system’s efficacy. We understand that damaged screening mesh within the system might have caused the fatal blockage within Stoke’s Pumping Station, but this gives house owners scant comfort: how old are these screens, should they be routinely changed and at what cost ultimately to the customer? It has been suggested that renewing a pumping station’s pump is a fraction of the cost of 22 tankers to empty the 14 Hayling Stations’ waste water holding tanks.
Recently a Planning Council Officer told me that Hayling must “change” despite resistance by what he described as “the vociferous people” on Hayling. This comment followed concerns raised by an Eastoke HIRA member concerning specific Eastoke proposed regeneration. Residents have been forced to challenge the Council’s assumptions regarding housing development numbers for the Island, for the very reason that we are the ones who have to live – whether at work or retired – with the consequences.
November 7th HBC’s Council will be considering their Regeneration Strategy, the Cabinet having discussed it on October 24th and published it. Our website alerted this at time of writing but residents must contact their Councillors to provide their own views. Another vital Diary Date is January 30th 2019 when Cabinet, then the Council will be voting on the Draft Local Plan. It is anticipated that both the Traffic Simulation Report and the Infrastructure Advisory Group will be published by then.
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Contact HIRA email@example.com or drop boxes: Hayling Community Centre, West Town; Morris Dibben, Mengham; The Terracotta Pot and Gift Shop, Eastoke; Library Elm Grove. www.haylingresidentsassociation.co.uk