Abingdon Reservoir plans in 2018

November 25, 2018

Abingdon Reservoir
Plans for a reservoir south of Abingdon, on four square miles of farmland, have been suggested since the 1970s. It was in 2006 that Thames Water produced plans to build a £1bn Abingdon Reservoir on this famland to hold 150bn litres of water for the growing demand for water from London. They would dig out the earth and make high walls to create the reservoir.
Abingdon Reservoir
A local campaign group called GARD (Group Against Reservoir Development) was created to oppose the plans. The Vale of White Horse District Council also employed consultants to challenge the plan. Ofwat (the government watchdog on privatised water companies) also said Thames Water needed to do more to stop leaks before grand new projects. Then in 2011 the plans were rejected as ‘there was no immediate need‘.

Thames Water are seeking again in 2018 to build the reservoir. It makes commercial sense to them. GARD has again challenged Thames Water’s plans and provided arguments against the scheme on their website http://www.abingdonreservoir.org.uk.

The reservoir would :

  • take 10 years to build 
  • take 3-5 years to fill
  • change the local flood plain and so be a flood risk
  • have 25 meter high walls
  • change the local micro climate.

The villages most directly affected are Steventon, East Hanney, and Drayton. (Pictures above of farmland and pylons were taken from Kiln Lane, and Steventon Road, in Drayton. )

The Vale of White Horse district council have put this reservoir land in the Local Plan 2031 – to ensure new housing, or airport development, don’t prevent the new reservoir if it is needed. But most councillors are yet to be convinced it is needed.
Abingdon Reservoir
Water Resources Management Plans are not easy to read. You could leave it to the experts from Thames Water and GARD to produce in-depth statistics, or be the public’s voice and have your say.

The deadline if you want to have your say on the latest draft of the plan is November 28th 2018. In this latest draft, Thames Water want to bring forward the reservoir date from 2043 to 2037. That means the build process would start in 2027, possibly earlier if it takes 3-5 years to fill.

Comments can be made at https://haveyoursay.thameswater.co.uk/engagement/shape-your-water-future-revisions-to-the-plan/consultation/subpage.2017-11-14.6685474502/?fbclid=IwAR3hGWHlp7fn0ELFSksKhnSvV_vKLh3q0kqj74frZIg7sqGa16FlY8aUd_w

Filed under: campaign

4 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. newcomer  |  November 26, 2018 at 8:45 am

    As a matter of interest, what are Ofwat and other interested parties (traffic planners, for example) doing in preventing new leaks and planning for maintenance in all the new-built housing developments and the building of new roads? In the future will the plan still be to push the fixing of leaks into the background and continue digging-up other peoples landscapes?

    I suppose in a quick-fix, rapid-return society there’s little going into building a more robust infrastructure that’s more easily accessed should it break … or is this my lack of faith in the people running these things to think beyond their own self interest?

  • 2. ppjs  |  November 27, 2018 at 8:39 am

    I have submitted a comment via the link mentioned. I encourage others to do so – whatever your view. You will get a reference number from Thames Water relating to your comment: mine was ANON-JHH1-DATN-J.

  • 3. ppjs  |  November 27, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Newcomer – Thames Water was fined £120M earlier this year for their continuing failure to deal with the leaks. Because the company has over 15 million customers, it probably regard this sum as “small beer”…

  • 4. chris  |  November 28, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I work for them but still wouldnt trust them as far as i can spit.

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