The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Blog is a photo record of events and places in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, started on January 1st 2006.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Reservoir Drop Dead Date

The computer image of the Upper Thames Major Resource Development (Reservoir) is an idealised view from the promotional DVD from Thames Water. We have had their hard sell for some months now.

Today was the last day to send in a response to the Thames Water Stage 2 Consultation on the look of the new reservoir near Abingdon. So I sent a few hastily scribbled notes on their form and popped it into the post box.

Yo may remember that in Stage 1 last year, Thames Water tried to put the case why a reservoir was needed. The Environment Agency says "We have responded to Thames Water’s Stage two consultation even though the questions from Stage 1 are not resolved. We have done this to make sure that if the reservoir is built we get the best for people and the environment."

If you add up all the proposed new reservoirs and other water resource measures in the South of England then there would be too many. And it is us the consumers who have to pay for their construction through our water rates. So we should not be paying to increase Thames Water's asset holding if that is not a neccessity, or not the best option for the country.

A group from the Vale District Council visited Rutland Water recently and came back with some views. The Reservoir would be comparable in size to Rutland Water. However the UTMRD would form a raised expanse on a flat landscape wheras Rutland Water is a flooded Valley.

Rutland Water has about 800,000 visitors a year. That is a lot of car parking and extra traffic. (Thames Water are talking to national yachting and sailing bodies about the UTMRD reservoir so who knows. It could draw in the crowds for lots of leasure activities. )

The rip rap rocks proposed by Thames Water as the internal protection was said to be the ugliest feature at Rutland Water.

People from Rutland said you that need to be in there early, persuading the Water Company what you want at this early stage (even though you don't agree there should be a reservoir) otherwise it will be too late to change the plans. So that is what the District council are doing, like the Environment Agency.

The next thing from Thames Water will be a Compulsory Works Order, which will appear probably next year. The Compulsory Works Order (or CWO) exists under the Water Industry Act 1991 for large schemes like this, but has not been used before. It allows a Minister or two to decide on the plans. The whole planning and scrutiny time will is shortened by such a process and out of local control.


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