Well, here we are again (biiig sigh....) . It's only three years - and then some - since we originally applied for water licences and only eight months since the Environment Agency signed the court order instructing them to re-determine the water licence at Avoncliff without further delay. that's a whole 8 months to place public notices in two local newspapers.
The slowness with which The Environment Agency has addressed the matter has made glaciers look like rushing mountain streams.
For a while there (April - October 2012), the EA were actually "processing" the wrong applications - yes, you read that right - the wrong applications. We looked at the communications they sent us and had to struggle with them to get it through to them that "no.... that isn't what we applied for". The EA were also actually asserting that they weren't constrained by the High Court Order!
We would ask you to get your views in to The Environment Agency ASAP on the two schemes under consideration (only one scheme will go ahead). Our table of comparative merits of the two schemes is over on the web site.
If you are minded to get your ha'porth in:
Application Reference Numbers:
North Mill: EARL NPS/WR/002511 (link to EA web site)
Weavers's Mill: TARRANT NPS/WR/001709 (link to EA web site)
application general enquiries telephone:
Ben Johnstone 01392-352337
If you do snail-mail:
The Environment Agency
Water Resources Permitting & Resource Centre,
Water Resources Team,
99 Parkway Avenue,
Parkway Business Park,
The delays and mistakes (and worse) emanating from the EA have been piling up for three years - is this a leopard that can change it's spots? Yep - we're biased :-)
Since the Environment Agency has had the applications in hand for three years+ essentially unchanged we believe it should take considerably less than the statutory 120 days (which has been flagrantly ignored by EA officials in the past anyway) or even the new Penfold Review rules at 91 days to arrive at a determination in this matter. To wilfully extend determination out to the legal limit poses the risk that any scheme at Avoncliff will be delayed potentially until 2014 - we leave the reader to do the arithmetic.
The Environment Agency will not even formally commit to a time frame for this licence determination.