Whitewater Valley Preservation Society
The vision of the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society is to protect the River Whitewater and its valley. Our mission is to defend the valley from inappropriate development and its resultant impact on the river.
Founder members formed the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society in 1980. Our aim is to fight unacceptable development proposals, which pose a significant threat to the health of the river and the landscape of its valley. Threats to the River Whitewater and its valley are ever more present today.
In view of the thrust of the emerging Hart Local Plan, the focus upon new green field sites, and particularly the proposed new settlement at Murrell Green in the Whitewater Valley, we urge members to respond to the current consultation.
The Whitewater Valley Preservation Society’s Committee has long term concerns about the impact of further development in the countryside of the Valley. We have therefore joined with others to support the Rural Hart Association (RHA) to work for a more sustainable long term strategy.
River Whitewater and its Valley
The River Whitewater runs from its source at Bidden to its confluence with the River Blackwater. This represents approximately nine miles of chalk stream, which is important at a European level.
The Water Framework Directive identifies the river as a main water body and a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (SINC). Natural England and the Environment Agency recognise a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) along the length of the river. These designations afford statutory protection.
Hart District Council’s Landscape Character Assessment defines the special character of the valley, recognising the centuries which have moulded the river’s course from Greywell to Riseley.
The local planning authority has a duty to protect the river. It should also ensure that any plans enhance the environment and its biodiversity. Any development which could affect the river’s biodiversity, and specifically species identified in the Biodiversity Action Plan, must be assessed.
The Whitewater valley contains many listed buildings and heritage assets. These are also entitled to protection, as specified in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Currently there are over 250 members of the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society. Our members include individuals, local interest groups, parish councils and riparian owners along the River Whitewater. You are invited to join us as a member of the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society.
As a member, you will be invited to attend our Annual General Meeting and at least one other exclusive membership event a year. These events provide an opportunity to hear current updates on subjects as diverse as strategic planning developments and the status of the River Whitewater. All we request is a modest annual membership subscription.
To contact the Committee of the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society, enquire about becoming a member, or request further information, please send an email or use the Contact Form in the panel.
Report an environmental incident
Please report any environmental incident affecting the River Whitewater to the Environment Agency incident hotline
Telephone: 0800 80 70 60
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