Could 6,300 new homes at Langstone Harbour worsen pollution woes?

WORRIES Langstone Harbour could be polluted if the homes are built
WORRIES Langstone Harbour could be polluted if the homes are built
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A SERIES of pollution incidents in Langstone Harbour has sparked calls for a review of Havant’s huge housing commitments.

Some community leaders are worried that Havant Borough Council’s housing target of 6,300 homes over the next two decades could worsen pollution problems in the harbour.

It comes as Southern Water was fined £50,000 last week for 36 illegal discharges of raw sewage from an outfall pipe in Eastney.

On Thursday it faces more charges from the Environment Agency for 41 alleged breaches at Budds Farm, its massive treatment works at Broadmarsh.

Bedhampton Lib Dem Councillor Ann Buckley says more houses could place even more strain on the sewage system and lead to more discharges.

She has now called for a review of housing policy at tomorrow’s council meeting.

She said: ‘I have been concerned for some time about the increasing number of discharges into the harbour.

‘I feel that the sheer number of homes could add greatly to the problem.’

Labour Leigh Park councillor Terry Hart said he was disappointed as there was a £100m revamp at Budds Farm.

He said: ‘I support the motion actually. They should comment before a development goes up to make sure the capacity is there.’

But David Guest, Tory deputy leader of the council, said he was not certain more homes would exacerbate the pollution.

He said: ‘I don’t know there’s any evidence to point us in that direction at all. I will listen to any evidence. As I understand the issues that Southern Water have had was failure at pumping stations in Portsmouth.’

He said the issue was the capacity of the sewage system, not the housing policy.

He added: ‘It’s something that will be looked at every single planning application that comes forward.

‘Part of the statutory consultation is that Southern Water have to give assurances that the sewage system is of sufficient capacity to take any particular form of development.’