Royston action group’s concerns for public water supply near proposed 120-home development site
PUBLISHED: 13:21 23 May 2018
Campaigners are concerned about the risk to the public water supply near a proposed 120-home development site in Royston after the Environment Agency deemed nearby groundwater as “highly vulnerable”.
The Royston Says No to Gladman action group, which was was formed after the land agent revealed plans for the development at the top of Briary Lane back in February, now want a full risk assessment carried out.
Chairman Alf Vaisey said: “Gladman need to show the necessary risk assessments in accordance with the Environment Agency Groundwater Protection Policy have been undertaken.
“If they do not, this should be justifiable grounds for refusal.
“If the risk assessments show the discharge of road/highway runoff and open spaces does pose a risk then an alternative method for drainage will need to be provided. If they cannot, the site should be refused again.”
The group says one of the main concerns is the lack of risk assessment undertaken at the site to ensure the protection of the major aquifer below the development site and local groundwater supplies.
An action group member put in an FOI to the Environment Agency, and in the response letter – seen by the Crow – the EA has deemed the groundwater at the site as being highly vulnerable.
The Environment Agency states that the proposed development site is within 200m of two water abstraction licenses held by Affinity Water. These are for public water supply and currently allow all year abstraction.
The Crow contacted Gladman, who declined to comment.
A letter was also issued to North Herts District Council raising a series of concerns regarding flood risk and drainage at the site.
An NHDC spokeswoman said: “The Environment Agency has responded and recommended conditions to safeguard the aquifer.
“The Local Lead Flood Authority has raised no objection in principle. Anglian Water has indicated that there is capacity locally. Affinity Water has not objected, but expressed a concern that construction works be carried out in accordance with relevant standards.”
The public has until Thursday next week to submit comments to NHDC about the proposed development, go to pa2.north-herts.gov.uk/online-applications and use reference number 18/00747/OP to add your views.
• Royston says No to Gladman will be holding their next open residents meeting at Coombes Community Centre this evening at 8pm. All are welcome.