Put a block on all major development

04 Aug 2006
AT the recent public consultation on the proposal to expand the Kent Science Park, one of the developers actually told the meeting that he had contacted Southern Water and had been told that there was no problem with future water supplies.

Not surprisingly, there was general laughter at that from all those local people in the audience who have been subject to rigorous water restrictions for many months now.

If the developers truly believe that water is not an issue when considering future housing developments, I would recommend that they read an excellent publication by the Campaign To Protect Rural England (Kent) which sets out, in unbiased and easy to read terms, the alarming prospect that faces our county if we continue to take for granted perhaps our most valuable natural asset - water.

Part of this report states that: "Important regions of the Kent area are already subject to an environmental deficit and this is reflected in the many examples of severely depleted spring-fed streams and designated wetlands."

This area includes Swale.

There are also implications in a further statement that says: "There is evidence to indicate a progressive depletion of storage throughout large areas of the chalk of north and east Kent."

The water in Swale comes from chalk aquifers, rather than from reservoirs.
Finally, the report sets out the Government's Environment Agency own figures which show that Kent has "an unsustainable regime for water abstraction under
both summer and winter conditions".

I call on the Government to put a total block on all future major housing developments in our area, such as those at the Kent Science Park, until a full and proper assessment has been carried out on future water management.

Gordon Henderson,
Sittingbourne and Sheppey
Conservatives spokesman