Water company cautiously outlines future growth

Flooding
Flooding

Cautious optimism that Anglian Water would be able to cope with the proliferation of new housing in the district was sounded by its planning liaison manager Stewart Patience.

“Assuming we can get our timing right, we should be in a good position,” he declared.

“We have to look at the larger horizon as well as providing responses to current applications.”

Earlier, Mr Patience provided a broad outline of how his company was planning for growth - and how it was investing in infrastructure to provide both water supply to new homes and effective sewerage disposal.

But panel chairman Coun Chris Goldson expressed ‘alarm and disappointment’ that the officer seemed unable to provide specific responses to issues that the emerging Local Plan needs to address.

“It’s absolutely critical that we get answers to our questions,” he insisted. “We don’t want a Local Plan full of weasel words that is little more than a charter for developers.”

The chairman called on Anglian Water to be ‘bold enough’ to admit it if it felt its infrastructure was incapable of supporting some of the new housing proposals currently under consideration.

Coun Susanna Matthan urged the company to make its data ‘freely available’ so that parish councils and the planning committee could make informed recommendations and decisions about applications.

Another meeting will be called as soon as a senior Anglian Water delegate can supply answers.