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EA finally comes out against ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’


Testwood Mill Pool catch (Andrew Kelton article) x500px

Southern Water’s long-standing plans to increase abstraction from the lower River Test at Testwood near Southampton, by building a pipeline across to the River Itchen, have met a significant last-minute stumbling block.

The Environment Agency has now concluded that the extra abstractions made possible by the pipeline scheme could occur much more frequently than actually required to compensate for ‘sustainability reductions’ on the River Itchen (a Special Area of Conservation protected by the Habitats Directive). This would risk causing a ‘Water Framework Directive deterioration’ in the Test primarily because of repeated impacts on salmon migration.

The Agency has published its own proposed Testwood licence variation, to replace the 2016 application by Southern Water, who are likely to appeal the new restrictions. Public consultation on the Agency licence change closes on 3rd August.

Useful link:

Environment Agency's licence proposal

Contact: Fish Legal - Eastwood House | 6 Rainbow Street | Leominster | HR6 8DQ | Tel: 01568 620447

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