ANGRY residents of Romsley are demanding greater transparency from a water company with plans to build a pressure tank they claim could damage the local environment and blight the green belt.
The tank is part of Severn Trent Water’s (STW) £250million pipeline project which will run through Romsley – and which it hopes to develop over the next three years between the River Severn and Frankly Water Works.
More than 150 Romsley residents turned up to St Kenelms Church Hall in Romsley last Friday to confront STW about its apparent lack of transparency and the environmental impact.
STW hope to construct the tank next to residential properties on Dayhouse Bank, Bromsgrove Road.
The tank will measure 25metres by 20 metres and include two other ‘hopper’ tanks measuring 6.5metres by 14metres, along with lights and fencing.
Lois Swift, co-ordinator for the campaign, Severn Trent Action in Romsley (STAR) told the Standard: “There are discrepancies between what they told us and the reality.
“At the meeting they said there would be a four per cent increase in traffic – however, their planning application states a 41.82 per cent rise.
“By being economical with the truth, they think they’re up against a bunch of small-time farmers who won’t question anything.”
She added: “We need STW to be transparent – and demonstrate measures to minimise the impact of the project.”
Ms Swift said the community would also like to see STW funding for including a pedestrian crossing outside a school.
Campaigner Katy Carter said among residents’ concerns were HGVs using the village’s narrow country lanes to deliver large quantities of carbon chemicals which needed to be added to the water supply via the tank, intrusive lighting and on-site concrete production.
She claimed residents felt misled by STW about the size and scale of the pressure tank, that ‘unrepresentative images’ about its position, size and look had been used by the water provider and that concerns raised were simply not being addressed.
“We realise this is an important legacy project but the development will leave a significant impact on our villages for many years to come, and we are concerned at the way STW has sought to hide details, and perhaps run roughshod over ancient woodland and sites of scientific value, such as nesting sites for bats.”
A spokesperson for STW said: “We’d like to thank everyone who came along to the drop in session on Friday. We felt that overall it went well and we were very glad to hear the concerns from local residents, and hope that people went away with more information and a better understanding of our plans. We’ll continue to work with the community to make sure that we complete the work in a way that has the minimum impact on the village.”
Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid told the Standard: “We can all appreciate that after 100 years use, Severn Trent Water needs to update local water infrastructure. However, residents affected by significant changes must be appropriately consulted and considered.
“I have visited the proposed site of the break pressure tank, to make sense of the situation for myself. Following this, I have raised my constituents’ reservations directly with Severn Trent Water.”
He added: “I would encourage residents to submit any concerns to Bromsgrove District Council’s consultation on the planning application.”