Stop the Chop! environmental group appeals for funds for legal advice to ensure ‘due diligence’ is being taken with Havant Thicket Reservoir project

AN ENVIRONMENTAL campaign group is raising funds as part of a drive to hold a ‘Goliath’ water company to account over plans for a new reservoir in Havant.

By Emily Jessica Turner
Saturday, 14th August 2021, 12:08 pm

Stop the Chop! stands opposed to the development which will take place on ancient woodland in Havant Thicket, and will be continuing its fight against the project.

The group is seeking legal advice to establish whether there are grounds for a judicial review of the planning applications that were granted by Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire Borough Council earlier this summer.

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From left: Stop the Chop! campaigners Beck Harvey, Shelley Saunders, Dave Childs, Dielle Hannah, and Helen Young. Picture: Emily Turner

Stop the Chop! is now appealing to local people for funds to help fund this first campaign step.

A spokesperson for the group said: ‘We feel it is it is of paramount importance for both this and future generations, to ensure due diligence has been taken with major environmental decisions like this one - where the destruction of ancient woodlands, surrounding grasslands and all the biodiversity it supports, is planned - and especially in light of the recent damming U.N. climate panel’s report that made the headlines this week.’

The group also draws attention to the fact that the reservoir is being constructed by Portsmouth Water in partnership with Southern Water.

Southern Water was fined £90m for a ‘shocking and wholesale disregard for the environment’ as it pumped 16bn-21bn litres of untreated sewage into ecosystems, including the Solent.

DiElle Hannah, a musician and amateur conservationist, is a member of Stop the Chop.

She said: ‘The quality of life of our local people is in the hands of this company whose track record alone means they do not deserve public trust.

‘So much information presented about this project has been very confusing and even contradictory.

‘It seems the powers that be are quick to discredit conservationists’ understanding of the impact of this project, despite the mitigation plan not including the most simple measures like relocating trees or incorporating a wildlife corridor.

‘This is such an important decision for the local community, we’re doing everything we can to ensure this Goliath does the best possible job.’

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