Local MP, Gillian Keegan has written to Natural England’s Area Director, James Seymour, following a productive meeting she held with Cllr. Susan Taylor, Cabinet Member for Planning at Chichester District Council asking about reports into the environmental analysis of the Manhood Peninsular.
The MPs enquiries follow on from the recent Natural England (NE) report that exposed the declining condition of the Chichester Harbour as an area of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The report can now be used as a basis of evidence from which NE can offer their statutory advice for future planning applications to the Council as the local planning authority. Therefore the MP has asked if such analysis has been undertaken, or is planned, moving forward on the Manhood Peninsular, especially as the area is home to the internationally important Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, which enjoys many protections, including SSSI status.
Gillian Keegan said, “The Natural England report on Chichester Harbour’s condition is alarming, however, it does give us the body of evidence we need to make the necessary changes to tackle the problem. I am hoping to get a better understanding of the environmental condition of other areas that are of significant environmental importance where future development may have an impact.”
The MP has held many meetings with all the statutory bodies involved with planning and environmental protection, including the Environment Agency, Ofwat, Southern Water and the council. Gillian went onto say, “I welcome the renewed sense of urgency to address the problems we face locally and the clear desire to work more collaboratively. To move forward the council needs support from these agencies, and they have done a fantastic job so far handling a challenging situation. I will continue to bring the relevant people together to ensure they can provide the homes we need for the next generation, whilst protecting our beautiful environment.”
Nationally work is continuing to tackle discharges from water companies via the Government’s new Storm Overflows Taskforce, bringing together representatives from the water industry, regulators and environmental NGOs to set out clear proposals to address the harm and frequency of sewage discharged into our rivers and other waterways from storm overflows. As announced on 22 January, this Taskforce has agreed a long-term goal to eliminate harm from storm overflows.