Tuesday, 31 March 2015

National Grid-locked over impact on water supply

Canterbury, and East Kent, looks like they could be fighting a campaign to secure the future sustainability of its communities on two fronts – water supply and energy security.

The consultation on National Grid’s Richborough Connection has now closed, with many key stakeholders and residents raising their concerns over the suggested route, which unless altered could put the longstanding proposed Broad Oak Reservoir at risk.

London is facing its own housing supply crisis, and there’s the prospect of it looking to secure 115,000 of its future homes needs in Canterbury, Dover and Thanet. However, the fact a water supply capable of serving an estimated 36,000 new homes in East Kent could now be lost, has to be challenged.

To make the matter more pressing, Canterbury’s Local Plan already proposes the construction of 15,550 new homes in and around the city – including Herne Bay and Whitstable ­– to accommodate its own growth and migration.

If Canterbury, Dover and Thanet face the prospect of such massive housing growth, then it’s imperative that maintaining the flow of clean water and treatment of waste water rises up the political agenda. This is one issue on which we can’t afford the problem to back up.

The proposed route – which is more about securing London’s than Kent’s power requirements – also impacts on a number of commercial developments earmarked for Canterbury and puts future jobs for the growing population at risk.

Everybody recognises the importance of the country investing in its future energy security, but surely we need to balance the basic human needs of water and energy? 

A planning application has not yet been submitted and so Canterbury and its neighbouring districts must now hope National Grid will see sense and change the route.

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