The utility company yesterday unveiled a multimillion-pound package of investment, saying it was committed to action to improve Chichester and Langstone harbours.
John Nelson, chairman the harbour trust, said: “We recognise that this is just part of the picture and we hope to see a concerted effort by all statutory bodies to halt the spiralling decline in the Harbour’s unique habitats and species caused in part by unsustainable development in the area.”
Southern Water chief executive Ian McAulay also offered to host a summit of senior leaders, aimed at helping to improve the water quality and important natural habitats in the interconnecting waterways.
In response, the trust issued a statement today, Thursday, April 8: “The Chichester Harbour Trust welcomes the announcement this week by Southern Water committing to investment in the improvement in Chichester and Langstone harbours.
“We have been concerned by the ecological decline of Chichester Harbour resulting in the classification of ‘Unfavourable Declining’ by Natural England earlier this year.
“We have been calling for action for some time and met with Southern Water, the Environment Agency and Ofwat this year. We are delighted to see that the message is starting to get through and the relevant agencies are working together with our local MPs to tackle the issue of waste water capacity in Chichester Harbour.
“As well as increased data and monitoring, and work to reduce groundwater infiltration, we need to see a significant increase in capacity to accommodate the level of new housing development proposed for the District.”
The trust is a registered charity established in 2002 to protect the natural beauty and wildlife habitats of Chichester Harbour, through the acquisition of land within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The trust now holds more than 275 acres of land in 13 sites around the harbour and works in partnership with Chichester Harbour Conservancy, landowners, local authorities and all those who love Chichester Harbour and wish to protect it for everyone to enjoy.