From BBC news
Fears supplying water to thousands of new homes “will pose a significant risk” have led to the first planning objections from the Environment Agency.
It is the first time it has objected to new housing over water concerns.
The planned homes are all in the south of Cambridgeshire, which could see more than 50,000 new homes by 2041. Some may now be built more slowly.
Cambridge Water said it has “resilient, long-term” plans to increase supplies and is trying to reduce demand.
The Environment Agency has raised concerns about five planning applications, including at least 4,425 dwellings.
Plans to build 3,000 homes on Bourn Airfield and another 1,000 on Darwin Green on the outskirts of Cambridge are among them.
The Environment Agency said water is a “precious resource that is under pressure across the country” and that taking more from natural stores is “posing a real risk to chalk streams, river, and wetland habitats”.
It added: “We have objected to some proposed development applications in the Greater Cambridge area on the basis that the water supply for these developments will pose a significant risk to our local water environment.”
Pollution rules are a major obstacle to the government’s aim of 300,000 new homes a year, a minister has said.
Wastewater and sewage from new homes and construction sites raise levels of nutrients like nitrates and phosphates, which harm water quality and wildlife.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook said a duty to lessen the impact was placing a “significant burden” on housebuilders.
Housing development had been stalled in 27 areas covering 14% of England, she told the House of Lords.