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Basingstoke MP fears Chineham sewage plan will create more traffic
BASINGSTOKE MP Maria Miller has raised concerns about a plan to transport sewage sludge to a treatment works in Chineham.
The MP has voiced her views in response to a consultation by Thames Water about its draft business plan for 2015 to 2020.
The utility company wants to install new equipment at its works in Whitmarsh Lane so it can “pressure cook” sewage to produce renewable energy.
Sewage currently treated with lime at works in Guildford, Farnham, Fleet and Newbury would instead be transported to Chineham to be cooked.
But Mrs Miller said this could create more traffic for an area that has been earmarked for new homes.
She said: “In my response to the public consultation on the Thames Water business plan, I have asked for more information on how the sludge would be transported to Basingstoke, and what safeguards would be in place to ensure this didn’t increase traffic on our already congested roads.
“More sewage will be going to the treatment works from all the new housing envisaged, and now on top of that, local residents will face the transporting of sewage sludge from other areas through their communities and the further processing of it at the Basingstoke works.”
The draft business plan states that six of the firm’s 350 sewage works would receive this new technology, enabling it to generate its own energy.
In a statement, Thames Water said it welcomed Mrs Miller’s comments and would review all feedback before handing the final business plan to Ofwat, the industry regulator, in December.
The statement read: “We are at very early stages with plans to produce renewable energy at Basingstoke sewage treatment works.
“Should the scheme go ahead, we will work very closely with the local community to minimise any impacts.”
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