Brief for the Amport Parish Website1, last updated 21 April 2021

Background. Disruption to our country roads can be a problem for us all. This has been exacerbated where Southern Water (SW) is conducting ‘emergency works’ which requires water tankers working across several locations in the area. The problem in the Parish is perhaps most acute in East Cholderton, on Wiremead Lane. To date, local residents have worked tirelessly over the years to highlight to SW the extent of the disruption and to encourage solutions. SW has made matters worse by failing to communicate their intentions with their customers. This brief provides information relevant at the time of editing. We use the Monxton & Amport Villages Facebook site for more regular dialogue.

Role of the Parish Council. Amport Parish Council (APC) takes this issue seriously and is working with all the agencies that have a part to play. The role of APC in this context potentially is ‘joining the dots’ between local residents, SW, other Parish Council’s affected by SW’s operations2 , Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC), the Environment Agency (EA) and Hampshire County Council (HCC).

Issues. Those that have endured the disruption to lives caused by major challenges to SW’s facilities in the Pillhill catchment area will know that this is a complex issue; a marathon, not a sprint. SW’s scope raises four main issues for local residents:

– ‘Emergency works3 ’ such as tankering away wastewater, traffic control at the sites and ‘over pumping’ water into local streams/brooks, such as Pillhill Brook in East Cholderton.
– Water quality, through flood and drought and particularly when over pumping starts. The EA plays the key part here, agreeing standards with SW and (in this context) protecting the water quality along the length of the Brook that might be affected by SW’s work.
– Highway repairs, including collapse of the highway and verges and damage to street furniture. HCC has the main part to play in agreeing with SW the scope and standard of such works (road closures and reinstatement of the highway)4 .
– Major Capital Investment. The longer-term resolution of the problem lies in SW agreeing major capital investment to resolve major sewage issues in the Pillhill water catchment area (affecting a number of villages in the local area).

Our local MP was briefed on 18 April and we asked Kit Malthouse to seek from CEO of SW agreement to these expectations.

At the end of April, we hope to get local Parish Councils together to agree this approach. If these two initiatives are successful, we anticipate inviting a senior executive from SW to meet with local Parishes in May to follow through on discussions that will lead to delivery of our expectations.

To reduce disruption for those immediately adjacent to the site, we have told SW that we expect at the East Cholderton site:

Tim Grimshaw
21 Apr 21

2 Kimpton, Thruxton, Monxton, Abbots Ann, Quarley, Upper Clatford.
3Even the term ‘emergency works’ is a misnomer, since such temporary works in flood and drought have been required for many years.
4The collapse of the White Horse pub wall into the road and repairs required to reinstate it may require careful coordination.
5 The most recent IRP for our area – Fyfield 2018 – is here

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