ROMSEY’S MP has reiterated her concerns about the effects of building on green fields around the town.

Speaking after visiting the Whitenap site earmarked by the borough council for 1,300 new homes in its Revised Local Plan, Ms Nokes said: “According to the Environment Agency, Whitenap is not within an area defined as at risk from flooding from the River Test.

“On that basis, it is outside the floodplain, which is the area one would normally associate with being the land which would be affected if a river bursts its banks.

“However, I spent some time looking at the site on Sunday and there were clearly areas of standing water. My concern as emphasised when I questioned the Secretary of State, Owen Paterson last Monday (Jan 6), is that areas of development fairly obviously cover open land, which has a certain capacity to absorb water, while tarmac, roof tiles, paths, roads, play areas, etc, do not.”

Ms Nokes said that adequate soakaways and drainage systems would be needed on any land where new homes are planned.

“The situation that we see in Romsey at the moment is that the Victorian sewers cannot cope and in places there is a combined system where the surface water run-off is also channelled into the foul drains. This results in the sewers simply not being able to manage to amount of water which is being channelled into them,”

“It seems fairly obvious to me that more development will exacerbate the situation with an existing sewerage system that cannot cope, unless there is massive investment in the whole system, which I think is absolutely essential