Water supply to Four Marks and South Medstead (near Alton in Hampshire) - including specifically the development 'Medstead Farm'

R Paul made this Environmental Information Regulations request to South East Water
You only have a right in law to access information about the environment from this authority


This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear South East Water,

I should like to understand the general situation regarding the provision of the water supply to Four Marks and South Medstead (near Alton in Hampshire), and to understand more specifically information regarding a substantial housing development in this area, as explained below.

GENERAL
Please provide the following information in relation to Four Marks and South Medstead, for each year in the period 2011 – 2016:
1. Infrastructure improvements identified as being required. Please indicate in each case (a) the purpose (b) the area[s] affected (c) whether needed to meet regulatory requirements;
2. Details of improvements actually implemented in Four Marks and South Medstead, pursuant to the above;
3. Data regarding the average and minimum water pressures achieved in relation to domestic supplies; and
4. Any regulatory censure(s), including any fines levied, in relation to any failure to meet regulatory requirements pertaining to water supply.

SPECIFIC
EHDC Planning applications 52501/01 and 02. [Land North of Brislands Lane, Four Marks, Alton]

The Development Brief [2009] for this Reserve Housing Site states that "...No difficulty in supplying the development with water supply is envisaged by South East Water...".

However, the Committee Report on the outline planning application 52501/001 [3 May 2012] states “… South East Water confirmed that further off-site mains reinforcement will be required to accommodate the development, but has not raised issue with the principle of providing further infrastructure. Section 98 of the Water Industry Act 1991 provides a legal mechanism, separate to the planning process, through which the appropriate infrastructure can be requisitioned (by the developer). ..."

For information, this Charles Church/Persimmon development of 110 dwellings is now nearing completion and the Building Control Body is/was NHBC Building Control Services Ltd. The estate has been named ‘Medstead Farm’ and includes Lily Road, Holly Drive, Daisy Close, Beech Grove, Elm Tree Place and Maple Place.

Please provide copies of any information held regarding:
5. The need for and provision of the relevant ‘mains reinforcement’ to serve this estate;
6. Who it was that laid the mains to the estate, SE Water or a Self-Lay Organisation. [If the latter, please provide name and contact details];
7. The results of any mains water pressure tests to the estate, and
8. (a) whether fire hydrants been installed on the estate; (b) if so; (i) how many (ii) their location; (c) any related contact/correspondence regarding Fire Service requirements.

Yours faithfully,

R Paul

South East Water

[1]South East Water

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Dear South East Water,

To assist with your response...

I now understand that the Building Control function in relation to 'Medstead Farm' (land adjacent to Brislands Lane in Four Marks), although originally with NHBC, changed to Premier Guarantee Surveyors Ltd in August 2013.

Yours faithfully,

R Paul

South East Water

[1]South East Water

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South East Water

[1][IMG]

Dear Mr Paul,
 

Supply Address: Four Marks & South Medstead, Hampshire.
Subject: Environmental Information

Thank you for taking the time to email our Customer Service Department on
13th November 2016 regarding your above enquiry.

Please be advised that I have forwarded your request to our assets
department who will contact you to provide the information you have
requested.

If you have any other queries, please contact us on 0333 000 11 22.

Kind regards

Toby Lamb
Customer Services Advisor [2][IMG]
[3]We strive to deliver a 5 out 5 service. Help us improve by completing
our feedback survey.

show quoted sections

Dear South East Water,

Based on regulatory timescales I am expecting to hear from you today in relation to this Environmental Information Request (20 working days from my original request). Please can you advise if you are 'on track' and able to respond today, or specify when I can expect to hear from you.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

R Paul

South East Water

[1]South East Water

Thanks for getting in touch! This is an automated response, so please
don't reply to this email.

We'll respond to your message as soon as possible (we aim for five working
days for enquiries and 10 working days for complaints, but it's normally
sooner).

If you're letting us know you've moved home, we'll pop a new bill in the
post (or send it to you via your Online Account) shortly.

Thanks,

The South East Water team

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South East Water

[1][IMG]

Dear Mr Paul,
 

Subject: Environmental Information Regulations request - Water supply to
Four Marks and South Medstead.

Thank you for taking the time to email our Customer Service Department on
12th December 2016 regarding your recent request.

Please be advised I have contacted our Assets department for an update on
current status of your request and I expect a response by close of
business on 16th December 2016. Please accept my apologies for the delay
in obtaining the requesting information.

Should you require any further information or advice regarding this matter
please call 0333 000 1122 . 

If you have any other queries, please contact us on 0333 000 11 22.

Kind regards

Toby Lamb
Customer Services Advisor [2][IMG]
[3]We strive to deliver a 5 out 5 service. Help us improve by completing
our feedback survey.

show quoted sections

Dear South East Water,

You have now not met the timescale set out in Regulations, which state information should be communicated: ‘as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after the date of receipt of the request.’ [Regulation 5(2)]; NOR the extended deadline of 16th December, 'suggested' in your email dated 13 December.

I should like to respectively ask that you PLEASE:

1. Provide that information which has been collated to date, by close of business on Monday, 19th December; and

2. Indicate when any remaining information that has been requested (i.e. which is not provided at 1) will be made available .

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

R Paul

South East Water

[1]South East Water

Thanks for getting in touch! This is an automated response, so please
don't reply to this email.

We'll respond to your message as soon as possible (we aim for five working
days for enquiries and 10 working days for complaints, but it's normally
sooner).

If you're letting us know you've moved home, we'll pop a new bill in the
post (or send it to you via your Online Account) shortly.

Thanks,

The South East Water team

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South East Water

[1][IMG]Dear Mr Paul,
 
Subject: Water supply to Four Marks and South Medstead (near Alton in
Hampshire) - including specifically the development 'Medstead Farm’
 
Thank you for your recent email, which we received on 16 December 2016.
 
I’m sorry to learn that you have not received a full response to your
original email received on 13 November 2016. I’ve notified our Assets
Department of your recent email and I’m currently expediting this matter
in order to provide you with the information requested.
 
Please be assured that as your Case Manager I will monitor this for you
and I will respond with further information no later than 4 January 2017.
 
In the meantime, if you wish to speak to me about your complaint, please
ring me direct on 01634 276089.
 
Kind Regards
 
Hailey Stubberfield
South East Water Complaints Team [2][IMG]
[3]We strive to deliver a 5 out 5 service. Help us improve by completing
our feedback survey.

show quoted sections

South East Water

3 Attachments

[1][IMG]Dear Mr Paul, 

Subject: Environmental Information Regulations request - Water supply to
Four Marks and South Medstead (near Alton in Hampshire)

Please find attached a copy of our response and also an attached document
showing supply connections. I believe that you have also been sent a
response direct by our Data Protection Officer. 

I trust this is satisfactory, if you have any further questions, please
contact us on 0333 000 1122.

Kind Regards

Hailey Stubberfield
South East Water Complaints Team [2][IMG]
[3]We strive to deliver a 5 out 5 service. Help us improve by completing
our feedback survey.

show quoted sections

6th January 2017

Dear South East Water,

Please pass this on to Head of Legal, Nicolas Truillet (as guided by Caroline Gould, Solicitor and Data Protection Officer, in her letter posted on What Do They Know on 22nd December, 2016). Your Ref: CG/EIR/Paul

I am writing to request an internal review (under Regulation 11) of South East Water's handling of my Environmental Information Request (dated 16th November 2017) 'Water supply to Four Marks and South Medstead (near Alton in Hampshire) - including specifically the development 'Medstead Farm''.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w...

*** PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS COMPLAINT VIA ‘WHAT DO THEY KNOW’ ***

BACKGROUND TO REQUEST FOR INTERNAL REVIEW >>>

I am seeking an Internal Review as I consider that the information that I have requested has not been fully provided. SE Water has instead provided meta information or INTERPRETED and summarised information in a number of cases, resulting in a level of abstraction that is not consistent with the detail requested.

I have also highlighted concerns that the information provided MAY be incomplete in relation to infrastructure improvements required to mitigate the effects of the substantial housing development that has taken place, and/or is planned to take place in the area, and ask that this is please reviewed.

In relation to other matters, as explained below, my request has been INTERPRETED in a manner that is not justified and that has had the effect of SE Water applying an exception that is not warranted.

As my concerns and the information I continue to seek, are varied in nature, I have provided details below. PLEASE CONSIDER EACH MATTER explicitly when undertaking the Internal Review. [ITEM references refer to the original request].

To the extent that SE Water is able to promptly release any of the requested information presently withheld/not supplied, it would obviously make sense to do this, since it may lead to me withdrawing some (or all) of the grounds of my complaint. (Such an approach is encouraged by ICO).

DETAILED GROUNDS OF COMPLAINT>>>

ITEM 1: INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS IDENTIFIED AS BEING REQUIRED.

South East Water’s initial response tells me that you have identified a need to reinforce your distribution network in connection with ‘proposed new development in the Medstead and Four marks area’ and you have provided me with the following road names:
A. Brightstone Lane and Telegraph Lane,
B. Boyneswood Road, Winchester Road, along Boyneswood Lane, within Five Ash Road and Red Hill, and
C. Boyneswood Close

Additionally, you have told me that “There are also some longer term considerations for a booster when required” and that all this reinforcement to your network is in order to maintain your existing levels of service, [rather than to improve upon it].

Your INTERPRETATION and analysis of the information located/available does NOT tell me:

(i) WHEN these individual needs were identified as being required [I asked that information was provided to show requirements identified as required “for each year in the period 2011 – 2016”];
(ii) The PURPOSE associated with each improvement [my question 1(a)] (i.e. the specific reason for each reinforcement being made AND the reason underlying the longer term consideration for the booster (as mentioned in your initial reply); and
(iii) The AREA[s] [within Four Marks and Medstead] affected by each improvement [my question 1(b)]. It would be helpful if you could please indicate, where relevant, any specific development which impacted the existing network and necessitated off-site reinforcements.

At the annex to this note, I highlight details taken from various planning applications within the area covered by the request, that ‘suggest’ offsite infrastructure improvement might have been required to meet the additional demands of new development. Indeed, the public interest is much in evidence in comments of concern expressed by the District/Ward Councillor.

Because of the limited and incomplete information provided in the initial response to my request (as explained above), together with the apparent lack of engagement of South East Water as a consultee within the planning process (see annex), there is little comfort that all measures needed to maintain a resilient supply have been taken AND/OR disclosed in South East Water’s initial response to my request. This is compounded by the refusal of South East Water to release the data requested regarding water pressure (see Item 3 below), that might demonstrate how effectively (or not) service standards have been maintained.

PLEASE REVIEW the comprehensiveness of the infrastructure improvements identified in the original reply and provide the further information that was requested [i.e. when; purpose; area affected etc.]

[I would have anticipated that SE Water would scrutinise and assess all significant developments and that when required appraisals, similar to the one at the link below, would be undertaken documenting the need, purpose and form of associated ‘offsite’ upgrades to the infrastructure in each case. Such information should be easily retrievable within SE Water’s systems and would correspond to the information requested.

http://www.rpclandandnewhomes.co.uk/wp-c...

Similarly, for one local development (that I have been able to find), South East Water (in February 2016) carried out an ‘Asset Hydraulic Assessment’ looking specifically at infrastructure reinforcement required by the proposal to build 75 new dwellings off Lymington Bottom Road - EHDC Planning Application 55197-001. [Your Ref: 6046 NARS- Lymington Bottom Road, Four Marks, Medstead. This MAY correspond with the Red Hill reference in your original response and MAY indicate the purpose, but that is unclear].

ITEM 2: DETAILS OF IMPROVEMENTS ACTUALLY IMPLEMENTED [PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE]

South East Water’s response tells me that you have carried out the following work to your distribution network:
A. improvements to the Wyards booster in 2012;
B. a new main in Brightson [Brightstone?] Lane in 2013; and
C. a new main in Boyneswood Road and Winchester Road at the end of 2014.

This ‘INTERPRETATION’ of my request does NOT provide the relationship between identified need and implementation, as requested across items 1 and 2 [‘pursuant to’].

ITEM 3: AVERAGE AND MINIMUM WATER PRESSURE

The information I requested was:

[For each year in the period 2011 – 2016…]
'Data regarding the average and minimum water pressures achieved in relation to domestic supplies'

In your reply, you indicate you are relying on the Data Protection Exemption at Regulation 13 of the Regulations. You refer to “… whether or not the property is at risk of receiving low pressure”.

I positioned this part of my request as GENERAL in nature and crucially I have NOT asked for property specific information. [For instance, I have not asked to look at registers held by South East Water that, most likely, contain personal information].

I asked for data regarding average and minimum water pressures achieved in relation to domestic supplies. You have interpreted my question in a way that is not warranted, which has had the consequence of invoking Regulation 13. If you had sought clarification and/or to propose how this might be interpreted and responded to [Regulation 9(1)], I would have confirmed that I do not require specific property level information.

PLEASE NOW PROVIDE THE INFORMATION REQUESTED. [To assist you in this, I provide below clarifications/suggestions, consistent with my original request].

- AVERAGE PRESSURE
I sought to obtain information that you hold that will help me to understand the AVERAGE pressure of the supply to properties in the area indicated (in each year). That might be based on say monthly or quarterly data, dependant on what information is held and can reasonably be extracted. If, for example, average pressures are monitored at points in the mains supply (and thereby relate to groups of houses/streets – i.e. aggregated to a level that provides anonymity) that would be acceptable.

- MINIMUM PRESSURE
I also wish to understand the MINIMUM supply pressures, in other words how many properties experience especially low pressure (in each year), and what those pressures are. On the latter, if information is recorded at a property level I am content for the data to be aggregated/anonymised. I understand, following further investigation, that SE Water maintains data that indicates where pressures fall below/or are at risk of falling below an accepted minimum level, in order to report to Ofwat against its ‘DG2 target’. DG2 data (accompanied with the basis for measurement), analysed to show the number of houses affected and general locations e.g. street(s) or housing development within the specified area would be pertinent. (In any case such data analysed so as to provide the best granularity available whilst preserving anonymity). I believe that leveraging DG2 data should ease the burden of complying with my request, the estimated pressures should be included if available (e.g. by segmenting the numbers of properties according to metres of head pressure).

Ms Gould has explained that South East Water continues to maintain that it does not consider the requested information falls to be classified as ‘Environmental Information’ [reasons stated]. However, the Information Commissioner provides his rationale for taking a contrary view in the decision notices referred to below.

FER 0588641 Northumbrian Water Limited
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
FER 059027 Yorkshire Water Limited
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

If you intend to rely on this argument, since the information I require is not personal data, PLEASE STATE this clearly. In the event of a definitional dispute being material, I respectfully suggest that that would ultimately be a matter for South East Water to resolve with the Information Commissioner.

ITEM 5: NEED FOR AND PROVISION OF THE RELEVANT ‘MAINS REINFORCEMENT’ [citation given]

In response to my request for information regarding the need for and provision of the mains reinforcement deemed necessary to serve the Charles Church development [now known as Medstead Farm], you have told me only that “The mains in Boyneswood Road and Winchester Road were complete at the end of 2014”.

What I asked for was “… copies of information held regarding… the need for and provision of the relevant ‘mains reinforcement’ to serve this estate”.

PLEASE PROVIDE the information originally requested relating to this specific development, which should include, but not be restricted to, the technical appraisal of the ‘need’ for mains reinforcement (hydraulic assessment; identified mains reinforcement solution etc.) and implementation of any particular reinforcement (e.g. requisition; completion report) needed to facilitate an adequate supply of water to THIS estate.

[IF the works cited in SE Water’s original response are relevant, please confirm and clarify as part of the above].

ITEM 7: PRESSURE TEST

Your response tells me only that the mains at Medstead Farm was ‘working’ when implemented. Please advise the result of the pressure test, as requested.

ITEM 8: FIRE HYDRANTS

My information request included:

(a) whether fire hydrants [sic] been installed on the estate; (b) if so; (i) how many (ii) their location; (c) any related contact/correspondence regarding Fire Service requirements.

You replied:
“I have attached a plan which was our proposal for fire hydrants and not challenged by the fire services and therefore is approved”.

I asked that you please disclose ‘… related contact/correspondence…’, however, you limited your response to the above statement (and the copy plan provided).

According to the document “CFOA South East Region Memorandum of Understanding - The Installation and Repair of Fire Hydrants and The Use of Water for Extinguishing Fires or Protecting Life and Property in The Event of Fire”, signed by South East Water in April 2012, there should be a letter from SE Water accompanying any such plan, seeking the formal agreement of the Fire Service. I note that agreement reflects the requirements set out in s.43 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 regarding the requirement to give 6 weeks’ notice to the Fire and Rescue Authority. [Your EIR response deems HFRS approval to the hydrant location because the plan was “… not challenged…”].

PLEASE PROVIDE ANY RELATED CONTACT/CORRESPONDENCE information as originally requested [OR confirm that no related contact record/correspondence, demonstrating if/when and how Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) was consulted, is held by SE Water]. HFRS have recently indicated, in a response dated 9th December to a separate EIR, that they do not hold any information in relation to the proposal to develop this piece of land, (they were specifically asked by the requester, to include anything to show that HFRS has made contact with or been consulted by SE Water).

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Taken together with your initial reply, it is unclear how the process for establishing the adequacy of fire hydrant arrangements has operated in this case.

On ‘face value’, your reply addresses parts (a) to (c) of my question. However...

The [indicative only] site layout approved as part of the Outline planning application [23/11/12] was drawing “600/P 02 Rev D - site plan”. The site layout approved as part of the Reserved Matters planning application [10/09/13] was drawing “1311-PS-01 Rev E - block plan”

The drawing you have provided [marked as ‘Issued for Construction’] matches neither of the above (e.g. it does not include all buildings constructed). Additionally, the drawing is incomplete, in that there are no connections shown to some plots. Clearly, the drawing does NOT show the ‘as-laid’ situation.

PLEASE PROVIDE a copy of the correct ‘as-laid’ drawing.

I should like to inform you that as at the date of this request for an Internal Review (6th January, 2017), the hydrant that is annotated “80mm Vertical On Main WO-Fire Hydrant Arrangement” was not plated and signed as a Fire Hydrant. The above MOU indicates that this is an integral part of ‘implementation’. At present the hydrant is designated a 'WO' (i.e. 'washout hydrant') on the physical signage. [I note that s.42 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004: Fire hydrants state “(1) A water undertaker must cause the location of every fire hydrant provided by it to be clearly indicated by a notice or distinguishing mark”].

I am unclear how to interpret the information so far provided, which is expressed in technical terms. Please explain how a SE Water “80mm Vertical On Main WO-Fire Hydrant Arrangement” differs from a SE Water “80mm Vertical On Main WO Arrangement” in order that I may comprehend the information you have sent me. [If no record of any contact with HFRS exists, it would be helpful to indicate the Fire Service approved design standard with which the ‘as laid’ hydrant complies].

CHARGING [NOTE: the matter raised below is for clarification and NOT ‘complaint’]

Whilst appreciative of the confirmation given in the initial response that you will not charge in respect of this request, I believe it would be unusual for a regulated body to seek to recover costs (i.e. to charge) without applying the Advance Payment method set out in ICO guidance.

“53. Where a public authority decides it requires an advance payment it must notify the applicant of this within 20 working days of receipt of the information request, together with the amount of payment required. The period from the day of this notification to the day the payment is received does not count towards the time limit for responding to the request.

54. The applicant then has 60 working days following issue of the notification to make the payment. If payment is not made within this period the authority is not obliged to proceed with the request”.

The above guidance can be found at the link below.
https://ico.org.uk/media/1627/charging-f...

ICO advise me that if a public authority did not follow this guidance when charging for a request, it could breach the EIR.

PLEASE ADVISE whether your policy is to adopt the guidance referred to above, or whether you have an alternate approach toward notifying and administering charges (and what that is).

The two links below show Water Utilities confirming their application of the Advance Payment method.
https://www.nwl.co.uk/_assets/documents/...

https://www.yorkshirewater.com/about-us/...

Yours faithfully,

R Paul

******
***

ANNEX:
FURTHER EXAMPLES OF SOUTH EAST WATER CONSULTATION ON RELEVANT LOCAL DEVELOPMENTS TAKEN FROM EHDC PLANNING SYSTEM

53305/001 - Land to the West of Lymington Farm Industrial Estate, Lymington Bottom Road, Four Marks. – Validated 15/01/2013
OUTLINE - 38 DWELLINGS [Local Homes Ltd]

Consultee comments:

South East Water - NO RECORDED COMMENT

53305/003 - Land to the West of Lymington Farm Industrial Estate, Lymington Bottom Road, Four Marks.- Validated 14/08/2013
OUTLINE - 69 DWELLINGS [Local Homes Ltd]

Consultee comments:

South East Water - NO RECORDED COMMENT

District Cllr Ingrid Thomas - “…On the subject of water many residents have complained for many years that water pressure is very low in the area and as the fire brigade have now also commented on the lack of pressure likely to cause a serious health and safety hazard a full water survey needs to be carried out. The development should not be considered until Southern Water has indicated that they have a robust plan to deliver the required water pressure. …”

25256/032 – Land at Friars Oak Farm, Boyneswood Road, Medstead. – Validated 30/12/2013
FULL - 80 DWELLINGS [William Lacey Group]

Consultee comments:

South East Water - NO RECORDED COMMENT

District Cllr Ingrid Thomas- “…Water supply although not strictly a planning issue does need to be considered for this site. A condition should be made that until an upgrade of water supply is made by south west water no building should commence. It is not acceptable in 2014 to build houses that have such a low water pressure that pumps are needed in each house to get water to come out of the taps. There are many power cuts here which people cope with but to have no water is a hazard to health. …”

Medstead Parish Council – “Water Supply: This area of Medstead in particular has suffered from very low water pressure for several years which has over the past 2 or 3 years has steadily become worse with every new house added onto the main. The appropriate Water Company has not been approached to give a solution to this problem. This is yet another example of individual applications being considered in isolation and the cumulative affect being totally ignored”.

Committee Report – 26/06/2014

“…Water supply - Concerns are raised by third parties about the availability of a range of infrastructure and one concern relates to the availability of a reliable water supply. … As a matter of course officers have ensured that the relevant water provider has been consulted. No response has yet been received. CONSEQUENTLY [my emphasis] officers do not consider there are robust grounds that stand against the application scheme based on this issue. …”

55258/001 – Land north of Boyneswood Lane, Medstead. – Validated 11/02/2014
OUTLINE - 51 DWELLINGS [Bargate Homes]

Consultee comments:

South East Water - NO RECORDED COMMENT

District Cllr Ingrid Thomas - “…Fresh water supplies and low water pressure may need a … [Grampian] agreement as the pressure is so low houses locally rely on electric pumps to get water from the taps a situation which should not be allowed to continue. …”

Appeal Inspector’s report - 08/12/2014
“ 32. The developer’s representative advised me at the Hearing that the local water undertaking had confirmed that without reinforcement of their system, they could not supply the site. … I am advised that the water company has provided the developer with an estimate of the cost of the works necessary to expand the capacity of the system to the degree required. With a Grampian condition in place to ensure that this work is undertaken before the scheme is occupied, the present inadequacy of the water supply would not be a bar to development.”

55197/001 - Land east of 20 - 38 Lymington Bottom Road, Medstead – Validated 25/04/2014
FULL - 75 DWELLINGS [Cala Homes]

Consultee comments:

South East Water - NO RECORDED COMMENT

Thames Water - “No water comments”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue - “Additional water supplied for fire fighting may be necessary”.

Appeal Inspector’s report - 29/06/2015
60. Representations by local residents regarding their experience of the effect of new residential developments nearby on water pressure were acknowledged by the appellant at the inquiry and I shall attach the suggested a Grampian condition to secure an adequate supply.

South East Water “Asset Hydraulic Assessment” - 23/02/2016
“4. Reinforcement Requirements
In order to increase pressures to pre-development levels, it will be necessary to lay
approximately 475m of 250mm HPPE main along Red Hill.
… Our network and the demand placed on it evolve continuously and we cannot guarantee that our assessment may not change in the future. In particular we cannot guarantee that this development will not trigger the need for different or additional reinforcement as time passes.”

53305/004 - Land to the West of Lymington Farm Industrial Estate, Lymington Bottom Road, Four Marks. - Validated 15/06/2015
RESERVED MATTERS PURSUANT TO 53305/001 [18 DWELLINGS] – [Miller Homes Ltd ]

Consultee comments:

South East Water - NO RECORDED COMMENT

53305/005 - Land to the West of Lymington Farm Industrial Estate, Lymington Bottom Road, Four Marks – Validated 16/06/2015
RESERVED MATTERS PURSUANT TO 53305/003 [69 DWELLINGS] – [Miller Homes Ltd ]

Consultee comments:

South East Water - NO RECORDED COMMENT

53305/006 - Land to the West of Lymington Farm Industrial Estate, Lymington Bottom Road, Four Marks - Validated 03/07/2015
RESERVED MATTERS PURSUANT TO 53305/001 [20 DWELLINGS] – [Beechcroft Developments Ltd]

Consultee comments:

South East Water - NO RECORDED COMMENT

South East Water

3 Attachments

[1][IMG]

Dear Mr Paul,

Please find attached the outcome of the internal review of your EIR
request which I believe provides substantive answers to the questions you
have raised.

Kind regards,

Hailey Stubberfield
South East Water Complaints Team

[2][IMG]
[3]We strive to deliver a 5 out 5 service. Help us improve by completing
our feedback survey.

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Tuillet,
Thank you for your letter setting out the outcomes of your Internal Review (received 3rd February, 2017).

WATER PRESSURE
I welcome the information that you have provided regarding water pressures to Medstead Farm and for clarifying that the pressures will sometimes fall below the average values provided, and that this can cause problems for direct feed hot water systems, if it goes below about 10m head at the boiler.

INFRASTRUCTURE
Thank you for the additional disclosures in relation to infrastructure improvements. It is helpful that you have highlighted the areas that would otherwise have suffered low pressure.

However, the table provided does not provide an explanation as to the specific reason for the improvements that are set out there, as I requested. It merely provides a ‘blanket explanation’ regarding ‘maintaining minimum services for all our customers’. [The exception being the clarification in the body of your letter, if I read it correctly, that the 2014 works at Boyneswood and Winchester Road were required to offset the extra demand from the 110 dwellings that make up Medstead Farm].

You have told me that no houses in this area are on the DG2 register (at risk of low pressure) so, presumably, an improvement is to either replace infrastructure toward the end of its useful life OR to meet additional demands arising from new buildings.

PLEASE indicate the purpose of the improvements you have identified, by explaining more specifically why the improvement was needed, in order to maintain service. In doing so please reference any specific local development(s), as you have done for Medstead Farm, that led to the requisitioning of each piece of infrastructure strengthening listed, as requested.

FIRE HYDRANTS
I should like you to please confirm that I have correctly interpreted your response(s) to my request for information held regarding (a) whether fire hydrants been installed on the estate; (b) if so; (i) how many (ii) their location.

Firstly, I summarise below my understanding of the information and explanations enclosed with your Internal Review:
1. South East Water (SEW) accidentally addressed an email consulting on Fire Hydrant requirements in relation to Brislands Lane, to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) on 2/7/13.
[I am told this enclosed the (earlier) Brislands site plan provided to me by Ms Gould, as part her original reply to this request dated 21/12/16. That plan ‘proposed’ that there would be a SINGLE Fire Hydrant – (being the only one) annotated ‘WO-Fire Hydrant’]
2. Whilst SEW’s email to WFRS clearly referred to Brislands Lane, it included a map reference that appears to relate to a map location adjacent to Itchen Valley Country Park, many miles from Four Marks [– please see map sent to you by email].
3. SEW asked WFRS to indicate the location of any new Fire Hydrants that it required [it is unclear whether that should include confirmation of whether the single Fire Hydrant marked on that plan was required or not].
4. That email was forwarded (apparently same day) by WSFRS to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS).
5. SEW has twice confirmed that no response was received from HFRS. Ms Gould indicated in her initial response that SEW ‘proceeded on that basis’ – suggesting, I believe, that a single Fire Hydrant was installed as shown on that earlier plan.
6. After I pointed out, as part of a request for an Internal Review, that the plan provided by Ms Gould did not reflect the actual layout of the estate, I received an apology from you and an acknowledgement that SEW had not responded to my request for correspondence with HFRS and which acknowledged that I had ‘… asked for a plan of the fire hydrants as laid’.
7. You have now provided copy correspondence and a copy of the ‘as laid’ plan as attachments to your Internal Review response, apologising for the poor resolution and indicating that ‘the hydrants’ [important: as distinct from ‘FIRE hydrants’] were marked in pink.
8. (Allowing for map overlays) it appears that eleven hydrants have been so highlighted. Whilst the resolution does make it difficult to read, I believe these are (now) all labelled ‘Washout Hydrant’ and that NONE are labelled FIRE hydrants (or ‘WO-Fire Hydrant’) on that map.
9. Since SEW only ever proposed one such hydrant and we are told that HFRS did not advise ANY Fire hydrant requirements, it appears that NO Fire Hydrants were installed.
10. Added to that, you have indicated that explaining the difference between an “80mm Vertical On Main WO-Fire Hydrant Arrangement” and a “80mm Vertical On Main WO Arrangement” is of diminished importance and anticipate that I would wish to work from the ‘as laid’ plan. (As explained above that plan identifies no FIRE hydrants).

PLEASE confirm that I am correct in my interpretation that the information provided with your Internal Review (in contrast to the original response) confirms that NO FIRE hydrants (meaning hydrants equipped or converted for use by the Fire Service) were installed at the date of my original request.

[If I am incorrect, please annotate any hydrants that were installed as FIRE hydrants, AT THE DATE OF my original request, clearly on the ‘as laid’ plan. (If FIRE hydrants have been implemented subsequently or are planned to be implemented, and you wish to do so, please identify these separately)].

PLATING AND SIGNAGE
You have asked whether I would like you to pass my ‘query’ regarding labelling of the hydrant (i.e. plating and signage) to the relevant department. My intention was merely to bring to SEW’s attention an apparent legal compliance issue. However, if there are no designated FIRE hydrants, which I believe you are now telling me, the issue does not arise.

If a FIRE hydrant had been subsequently installed (or was to be installed in the future), presumably at the request of the fire authority, there is a legal requirement for it to be clearly indicated as such by the water undertaker. [Under those circumstances, plainly, you should act without any further guidance or direction from a member of the public].

In all these matters, I would urge SEW to work with HFRS to ensure that there is an adequate provision of water for the purposes of firefighting.

Yours sincerely,

R Paul

South East Water

3 Attachments

[1][IMG]Dear Mr Paul,

Please find attached a copy of our response to your latest contact and
trust this answers your questions.

Kind Regards

Hailey Stubberfield
South East Water Complaints Team [2][IMG]
[3]We strive to deliver a 5 out 5 service. Help us improve by completing
our feedback survey.

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Dear South East Water,

Thank you for your clear and helpful reply.

Yours faithfully,

R Paul