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Open letter to the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water from concerned organisations in Shropshire about the threat to our drinking water supply from the North West Relief Road

Dear Mr Duffy (CEO of the Environment Agency) and Ms Garfield (CEO of Severn Trent Water)

We write on behalf of the Shropshire organisations listed below.

As you will know, Shropshire Council’s Northern Planning Committee recently approved the North West Relief Road in Shrewsbury. 


However, we understand that the Environment Agency, a statutory stakeholder, still has significant reservations about the risk of catastrophic and permanent contamination of the groundwater borehole at Shelton Rough that supplies Shrewsbury (pop: 75,000) and a large proportion of Shropshire (pop: 325,000) with clean drinking water.

This is a serious concern to us and our members. 

The risk to the borehole was not resolved at the planning meeting and further tests and assurances from Shropshire Council remain outstanding. We see from the local press that the MP for Shrewsbury, Daniel Kawczynski recently met with Mr Duffy. Following the meeting Mr Kawczynski publicly claimed that the stated risk to the borehole was ‘unfounded’.

We do not believe this is an accurate representation of the situation. 

As residents we are concerned that future discussions about the risk to the borehole post-planning approval will now happen behind closed doors. We understand that further information on the issue will no longer be in the public domain nor uploaded to the Shropshire Council planning portal.

We strongly urge you to ensure that residents are kept fully informed about the risk to the borehole both from the NWRR’s construction phase and its subsequent usage. We need the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water to ensure that expert analysis of the situation is carried out in order to protect this important resource. 

As taxpayers and Severn Trent Water customers, we have grave concerns about potential permanent loss of our drinking water and the expensive of providing a replacement should catastrophic contamination occur. 

Yours sincerely, 

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