So is there Water for Further Growth in Cambridge?
Stephen Kelly has responded to the questions raised on the 13th July. You can download the original questions and his response below.
Last August, the Environment Agence wrote that
'current levels of abstraction are causing environmental damage. Any increase in use within existing licenced volumes will increase the pressure on a system that is already failing environmental targets. We recommend any proposed development considers water resources as a key issue and the council recognises the damage of long term increases in abstraction due to growth'
They also made clear that
'We recommend that councils consider the long term viability of supplying new developments and how the phasing of growth links to the timings of the planned new strategic schemes.'
Despite this, Stephen Kelly states
'the EA has not objected to, or advised the LPA that the planned growth in the adopted Local Plan should not be allowed to proceed. In those circumstances, the LPA is not in a position to decline to entertain such applications.'
'The EA are the body responsible for managing the environmental effects of abstraction and advising the LPA of its conclusions. At this time, they have not advised the LPA to cease granting planning permission for any further development.'
I have written to the Environment Agency asking then to clarify their position on the viability of supplying further growth from the Cam chalk aquifer, and to respond to both Friends of the Cam and to Stephen Kelly and the Local Planning Authority.