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Nitrates & Developments

Monday's October 28th 2019 Operations & Place-Shaping Board Meeting (Agenda and papers available from HBC) gave its Councillor Panel members the opportunity re Agenda Item 5 to hear and question Southern Water, Environment Agency, Natural England (Government body) and Cabinet member covering planning Cllr. Tim Pike.

Disappointingly, we understand that principally only the Chair, Cllr. Sue Lloyd (Purbrook, controversial Campdown Dev't proposed in her Ward), and Cllr. Clare Satchwell pressed questions and concerns of these bodies. Apparently the dominant argument appears to be that building development will produce fewer nitrates than agriculture and therefore is preferable.

But what of modern agricultural practices on the Island - where are the studies of nitrates leaching for the past 5 years for example and exactly how can we be assured that building development & all that follows it will not incur more nitrates leaching into our groundwater and harbours?

The following questions arise: if development is preferable, at least partly on the basis that each new home is to be limited to 110Lwater/person/day so that people's effluent & its nitrates will be restricted, how will that be enforced? Apparently Southern Water held that nitrates also derive from gardening, so given that each new property will have front/back gardens, will that not intensify nitrate production by individual householders eager to fertilise & plant? Apparently an HBC Mitigation 'pot' into which developers must pay per property built, will provide Bird Aware with funds for alternative wildfowl sites, but if all our green fields are to be built on, how far away will these bird sites be located & will they attract the already well established migrating species? Havant's Brownfield sites remain undeveloped as being unattractive/expensive to developers, yet Government policy makes them integral for development: surely HBC should insist that these be developed first.

Noteworthy is that Bedhampton's controversial 40 Acres site has been granted planning permission in advance of the Inspector's Report. This is concerning news for its local campaigners and its implications for the rest of the Borough's long-term needs.

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