THIS WEEK IN 1998: '˜Sewage plant will make sea too clean'

A wildlife organisation delayed a controversial £100m sewage plant because the scheme could have made the waters of Langstone Harbour too clean.

A wildlife organisation delayed a controversial £100m sewage plant because the scheme could have made the waters of Langstone Harbour too clean.

English Nature suggested that long-term ecological damage could be caused if too much sewage was taken away from the harbour.

The group was so concerned that it contacted the Environment Agency to halt Southern Water's sewage work plans for the harbour at Havant.

English Nature filed worries about jeopardising the food chain and the effect on wildlife in the harbour to the agency, which had a legal obligation to consider its views.

The agency came back and asked Southern Water to re-examine plans for the plant, which delayed the decision on whether to grant permission for the scheme.

Southern Water spokesman Graham Amy said at the time: '˜It's a very valuable breeding ground.

'˜But our role is to clean up the seas.'

The plans for the sewage plant eventually went ahead and the plant still works today at Budds Farm, at the northern end of Langstone Harbour.