AN actor, best known for his role in The Crown, has criticised the plan by a water company to pump large quantities of wastewater into River Test.

James Murray visited Chilbolton Cow Common near Stockbridge where Southern Water has set up a temporary pump to flush out water to the River Test.

Chilbolton Cow Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Although the initial plan was to start pumping on Thursday, January 25, residents have now been informed that Southern Water has now decided to postpone it temporarily.

READ MORE: Residents told water company has postponed pumping of wastewater into River Test

Mr Murray, who played the role of Prince Andrew in the final two seasons of Netflix show The Crown, expressed his concerns about the plan to pump wastewater into River Test.

He said: “Southern Water cannot be permitted to dump the equivalent of an Olympic size swimming pools worth into the River Test on a SSSI area which will ruin spawning grounds as well and destroy vital habitat.”

The actor plays a main role in the new Apple series Masters of the Air, which is produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

The residents of Chilbolton Cow Common have been rallying against Southern Water’s plans due to environmental concerns.

A petition created on to stop Southern Water from pumping wastewater to the river has received more than 1,000 signatures in just more than 24 hours.

SEE ALSO: Southern Water plans to pump wastewater into River Test

However, a Southern Water spokesperson said the geology of the Chilbolton area is highly vulnerable and the pumping plan will be implemented if water and sewage start entering people’s homes.

A Southern Water spokesperson said: “As part of an emergency plan to prevent flooding, we are preparing overland pipes to remove groundwater and prevent it causing internal flooding of homes, schools and businesses. The plan will only be implemented if exceptionally high levels of groundwater overload the sewage system, causing water and sewage to enter people’s homes.

“The geology of the Chilbolton area is highly vulnerable. The plan – drawn up with co-operation from the Environment Agency – may see us pump ground water out of the sewer and drainage network and into nearby watercourses as a last resort. An impact assessment is currently being carried out and samples from the network and from the area where releases may be made, are being collected for analysis.”