The Whitewater Valley Preservation Society has responded to a request for an Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping opinion in relation to development proposals of 32 hectares of agricultural land at Lodge Farm, North Warnborough (22/01347/EIA).
WVPS points to serious environmental impacts on the River Whitewater, a chalk stream which is already failing to achieve Good Ecological Status, including:
- flooding risk as the development proposal is in the floodplain of the River Whitewater
- the impact on an already water stressed area, which will change significantly when water abstraction from the River Whitewater ceases in May 2023
- sewage capacity in a system that is already over capacity leading to sewage overspills into the River Whitewater
In addition WVPS points to the devastating visual impact in a currently open agricultural landscape, which is crossed by several public rights of way (footpaths) connecting the many surrounding Conservation Areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).
The application fails to mention the nationally recognised colonies or rare bat species located in the Greywell Tunnel, which use the River Whitewater and Basingstoke Canal for their navigation and feeding routes. The application therefore needs lighting to be considered in the scope of the environmental impact assessment.
WVPS has therefore requested that the scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment is extended to include surface water management, sewage and lighting.