Back in 2015, I was a parliamentary candidate for Basingstoke, in the general election.
I unearthed quite a significant issue. Our waterways, the Loddon, the Itchen and others were being used to dump excess untreated sewage. During our investigation, Hampshire County councillor, Andy Moore and myself met with a representative of Southern Water. That representative confirmed that “accidental” spillages occur regularly into the Itchen and other waterways. He also stated that Southern Water had no plans to build new sewage works in the medium term (5-10 years) and they only had sewage capacity for a few hundred new homes. Thames Water had no plans either.
That was 5 years ago, since then 1000’s of new homes have been built across Hampshire, particularly inner town flats. Sewage overspills are happening daily. Both Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council have been covering up this environmental disaster for years. I reported on this problem back in 2015, nothing has improved. With so much house building in Hampshire this problem will only escalate. Neither Southern Water nor Thames water will voluntarily build sewage treatment facilities, they must be compelled.
It has only now come to light that Hampshire County Council has given the green light on raw sewage overflow from Buckskin being piped to Saunders Field, which was recently sited as a future beauty spot for the leisure park development. This is the source of the river Loddon. The Conservatives are actually allowing contaminants like nitrates, cleaning chemicals and hormones (from contraceptives) as well as the obvious, to contaminate Eastrop Park and the chalk stream running through Old Basing.
I understand how difficult it must be for the Conservative party in Basingstoke and Hampshire to stop this happening, so much of their funding comes from developers. Unless we want a major health or environmental crisis, we must block home building until vital infrastructure like sewage and water works, are put in place. We need drastic action to improve our sewerage systems and waterways or this problem will only escalate. Over 100,000 new homes are planned for Hampshire with no extra sewage works. Is it all going to be pumped into our streams and rivers? The Loddon, the Itchen and other rivers in Hampshire must not be used as a dumping ground for anything, let alone sewage.