Due to the outlying situation of the Parish utilities tend to be limited either by availability or by the choice of provider.
The questionnaire asked whether there were any improvements required for utilities in the Parish. The following responses were expressed:
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Detailed enquiries have been conducted to determine who the relevant providers are for each of the relevant utilities and what actions can be taken to improve the provision where required. Enquiries have also been made of AVDC and Buckinghamshire CC to obtain their view on provision where appropriate.
5.2 Water, drainage and foul water drainage (sewerage)
There are two providers covering the Parish, Thames Water Utilities (TWU) and Anglian Water Services (AWS). Anglian Water supplies Rowsham. Wingrave is supplied by both TWU and AWS with the main division along Leighton Road. The Parish survey did not raise water provision as a significant issue, with only two people commenting on water provision, reporting gravel in the water.
Currently and for the foreseeable near future there are no constraints upon water supply. Under the Water Industry Act 1991 Section 3 imposes a statutory duty upon ‘water providers’ to maintain an efficient and economical water supply system and proscribes minimum standards of performance in connection with water supply. Data obtained from the AVDC Preliminary Water Cycle Screening Study (Halcrow Group Ltd 2008) stated that the Parish water supply has the capacity to support 5-10 minor infill developments, there are currently 4 approved. However Anglian water has stated that it can supply water to meet demand, but that infill development would be much easier to manage than development outside the village boundaries. Thames Water has not yet responded to our questions.
Drainage issues were identified as the third highest utility concern, 31 people, and 10 of these in Rowsham highlighted this issue. Particular emphasis was placed on the inadequacy of the drainage system in specific locations within Wingrave such as Dark Lane/Tring Road, Nup End Lane and in Rowsham (no specific location identified). The Rowsham responses highlight flooding at the corner of Bennetts Lane where water run off is causing road surface damage.
Anglian Water has no records of flooding in Wingrave or Rowsham. Anecdotal evidence is that flooding has worsened as more housing developments have been completed in Wingrave.
5.2.3 Foul Water Drainage
The Parish’s 2004 plan recommended that upgrades were required to the foul water drainage system, but no action has been taken. Reviews by AVDC (2008 & 2010) have further confirmed the need for upgrades.
There is lack of clarity over the number of water treatment works in the Parish. One small water treatment works is situated in Rowsham at Baileys Farm and one in Wingrave near Straw Hadleys Farm. Anglian water identified that there may be a water treatment works behind Abbotts Way and a public sewer behind Baldways Close although these are not clearly visible. In a 2008 AVDC Water Cycle Review it was concluded that Wingrave waste-water treatment facility was at that time close to capacity, and was capable of supporting up to 25 more dwellings before capacity was met.
No mention was made in the AVDC review of Rowsham. The water treatment works at Rowsham is small, and a complete replacement or diversion of flow to a larger treatment works may be required should significant housing development occur.
The questionnaire responses indicated that there is no access to the foul water drainage infrastructure at the end of Leighton Road and at the lower end of Wingrave. Anglian Water has informed us that the affected households can apply to them under Sections 101A and 106 of The Water Industry Act 1991 for connection to main foul water drainage (certain criteria apply).
The Aylesbury Vale Water Cycle Strategy 2010 concludes that there are no constraints with regards to surface water management but does report potential constraints to the Parish’s wastewater network and waste water treatment due to sewer and groundwater flooding risks.
The Parish’s Gas is Supplied by Scotia Gas Network
Scotia Gas reports that they have no concerns regarding gas supplies for future developments. Service provision is development driven and like other utility providers, there is a preference for infill developments, which require little additional infrastructure. Those households not on mains gas can apply for connection but there is a cost.
There are approximately 20 energy supply companies who can sell electricity (and gas) to anybody anywhere in the UK. However, UK Power Network distributes the power to the entire Parish, and operates and maintains the electrical supply system.
UK Network Power reports that it can provide electricity supply as and when demanded, with infill being the easiest option with regard to future development. A report is being prepared by UK Power Network on the current status of our Parish’s electricity supply, planned upgrades and answering concerns raised by residents (prior to the survey) in particular those of Rowsham, of frequent interruptions to power supply.
The multitude of overhead wires, reported in the 2004 Parish Plan, continues to be an eyesore.
5.5 Street lighting
38 out of the 57 respondents wanted better and improved lighting in general. The walk to and from the A418 into Wingrave village was highlighted as a problem area as were alley ways and the Recreation Ground. No specific roads were referred to in Rowsham.
There were 6 people in Wingrave requesting no more lighting, probably because of concerns over light pollution and light nuisance.
Both viewpoints could be accommodated by the provision of low-level solar lighting bollards in selected routes, especially the route from A418 bus stops into Wingrave. Low level solar bollards do not cause significant light pollution nor do they have the potentially intrusive effect upon households as the light is directed at ground and below waist level and is screened on top preventing the light from shining upwards. Solar bollards do not require significant construction costs, nor do they require cabling.
This was highlighted as highly significant to the Parish. The requirement for Faster Broadband was identified as the highest utility priority for Parishioners for both home and work purposes with 212 responses requesting a higher speed provision.
This response is driven by the number of small businesses in the Parish, the significant number of people who either work wholly or partly at home, and the increased reliance on broadband by domestic users.
The Parish Broadband service is provided through the Wing Telephone Exchange using BT equipment. The Wing Exchange is equipped with first generation ADSL Broadband technology, which is not providing sufficient access speeds to meet the requirements of Parish users. Whilst an upgrade to ADSL2 technology will improve matters, the Parish Broadband requirement can only really be met by new technology using Fibre Optic data links, specifically, Fibre-to-the-Cabinet technology (FTTC). BT Infinity is FTTC technology and BT reported that their current business plan does not forecast installing such a capability on the Wing Exchange until the end of 2015.
The Parish Council has set up a Working Group working to investigate Broadband and improvement options within the Parish. The current status of the Working Group’s investigations is as follows:
- Village Networks Ltd provide a Microwave Broadband service to Upper Wingbury Park. This is also a potential solution for those on the east side of Wingrave with line of sight to the transmission mast, but it does not address the whole parish.
- The whole Parish solution is FTTC technology. Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF) is a not for profit organisation funded by business donors and Local Authorities. BBF has been successful in a Government funding application for improved Broadband for Rural Buckinghamshire. Implementation will require additional funding by the private sector (BT), which will only occur if there is sufficient demand from the whole area served by the Wing exchange.
The Working Group has provided a summary of the Parish Questionnaire data, together with information on Parish businesses, to BBF as an initial indicator of demand. The next stage will be for the Working Group to approach Wing Parish Council to investigate the potential for a joint survey to demonstrate sufficient demand. The intention will be to attempt to persuade BT to expedite their provision of BT Infinity at the Wing Exchange.
5.7 Conclusions and Recommendations
Water, Drainage and Foul Water Drainage
There are significant capacity constraints to the Parish’s Wastewater network and waste-water treatment works which would require upgrading to accommodate further housing development in Wingrave and Rowsham.
An urgent detailed investigation is required of both Wingrave and Rowsham’s waste-water network and waste-water treatment to ascertain true capacity for further housing development.
Parishioners are reporting flooding issues in Rowsham, which were not mentioned in the AVDC report and have not been actioned the Highways Authority at Buckinghamshire County Council.
Firstly, the Parish Council should take the following actions:
- Liaise with Rowsham residents to provide evidence to the Highways Authority of the flooding issue at Bennetts Lane and discuss ways of alleviating the issue and repairing the consequent road damage.
- Liaise with service providers to obtain the information on future plans to improve water treatment works/sewerage and drainage infrastructure including estimated timescales.
- Identify those households not connected to the foul water drainage to advise that application can be made to Anglian Water for connection.
Secondly, as was recommended in the 2004 Parish Plan, a moratorium should be placed on all new housing developments until appropriate studies have been completed and drainage and water treatment works update timescales obtained. Furthermore, the Neighbourhood Plans should include the following controls on development:
- Development approval should be conditional upon the appropriate utility infrastructure being in place.
- Development approval should take into account that infill is the most efficient route for utility infrastructure provision
The Parish Council should review the report from UK Power Network, which was due week commencing 5/12/11 and act accordingly.
It is recommended that the Parish Council examines this issue with AVDC, possibly as part of its discussions regarding the extension to the conservation area, firstly to prevent further proliferation and secondly if possible to reduce the current extent of the wire-scape.
Review the Green Energy plan when this is complete and consider how it could be accommodated into the Neighbourhood Plan process.
Solar Lighting Bollards
It is recommended that the Parish Council examines the feasibility of this proposal in consultation with interest groups such as the Green Energy Group.
The Parish Council has set up a working party to investigate options within the Parish. A further survey, in conjunction with Wing Parish Council and working with Buckinghamshire Business First may be required to demonstrate demand for an upgrade to the Wing Exchange prior to the current plan by BT to upgrade in 2015.