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UNANIMOUS! GREEN PROPOSAL GETS CROSS-PARTY ASSENT

UNANIMOUS! GREEN PROPOSAL GETS CROSS-PARTY ASSENT

At Wealden’s Full Council meeting in July, Cllr. Rachel Millward successfully brought her first ‘motion’ (the equivalent of bringing a bill to Parliament).

The motion aims to make sure that the Council’s planning process takes account of  increases in sewage discharge into our rivers and seas caused by proposed housing developments.

The motion was accepted as a cross-party motion and seconded by Conservative council leader Ann Newton – it was then approved unanimously by Wealden District Council.

The motion sets out a range of proposals connected to the impact of sewage overflows on the local environment. Among other things, it will see the council call on Southern Water to provide further details about its network when it is consulted on planning applications – including details of which treatment works will be managing the sewage from the new housing.

Rachel Millward says: “I’m pleased to say my proposals struck such a chord with the ruling party that the council leader seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.”

“The horrifying truth is that in 2021 over 17,000 hours’ worth of raw sewage was spilled directly into Wealden’s rivers. This is caused by decades of under investment by Southern Water.”

“I have met with local Angling Societies, all of whom have witnessed pollution events first hand - fish dying, plant and insect life struggling. I’m told that in streams like the Grom, which runs into the Medway, there should be dozens of different fish species. Now, only small pockets of fish survive and there’s barely any weed.”

“You can hardly see through the murky water, which used to always be clear. I have spoken to swimmers who have been hideously sick, and families who have paddled amongst panty liners. I have yet to speak to a single resident who thinks it is ok to turn our rivers into sewers.”

“My proposal was simple: to ensure that the Council’s planning process takes proper account of this grim reality when assessing the suitability of new housing developments. It makes no sense to add more houses and thus more waste onto a sewage system that can’t cope.”

“Until now there was no mechanism to consider this problem at Planning Committees. I’m glad that Wealden will now be able to do so.”

Rachel-Millward-2-profile2

“My proposal was simple: to ensure that the Council’s planning process takes proper account of this grim reality when assessing the suitability of new housing developments. It makes no sense to add more houses and thus more waste onto a sewage system that can’t cope.”

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