Events are taking place in the towns and villages closest to the proposed sites, with webinars also planned for those that wish to engage online.
The full event programme can be found online at www.lincsreservoir.co.uk
On October 12 Anglian Water confirmed its proposed location for a new reservoir in Lincolnshire in an area south-east of Sleaford between Helpringham, Swaton and Scredington.
It will see around 50 farms and properties have to go along with hundreds of acres of farmland, with some residents already opposed to the scheme.
A public consultation process is open until December 21 giving people the chance to provide their comments and help shape the water company’s proposals to provide “the best social, environmental and economic benefit”.
The water company says the East of England is one of the driest and fastest-growing regions in the country, with a vital need to invest heavily to help prepare for future challenges.
The proposed reservoir will supply enough water for around a quarter of a million homes and is planned to ensure there is sufficient water supply in the future in response to a changing climate, a growing population, and the need to protect the environment by reducing the amount of water taken from natural water sources.
Anglian Water’s vision for the reservoir is to create a place where water, people and nature come together. That means creating space for wildlife, such as wetlands, alongside enabling new recreational and educational activities and natural places for people to explore. It also means creating new jobs and providing opportunities for local businesses and tourism.
Dr Geoff Darch, Water Resources Strategy Manager for Anglian Water said: “Water is our most precious resource – it’s why we handle it with such care for the seven million customers we serve and why we need to plan ahead, investing heavily today to make sure there’s enough to go round for generations to come.
“These events give local communities the opportunity to meet our teams and find out more about our proposals for the new reservoir.
“Local knowledge is very valuable and we value the views of our customers. It will help us to further understand any potential impacts and opportunities and inform the development of our proposals going forward.
“We recognise that the creation of the new reservoir will have a significant impact on the local community, including homeowners and landowners. We are committed to working with everyone as the project develops and want to hear all views on our emerging proposals.
“We’re keen to understand people’s feedback on the area we have identified as the best possible site for the reservoir and the features local communities would like to see included as the design develops.”
During times of high rainfall, river flows from the nearby River Witham and River Trent would feed the reservoir with water.
The water stored at the reservoir will then be treated and transported so it can be supplied to people’s homes and businesses throughout the year.
Construction of the new reservoir, subject to planning consent, could begin between 2025 and 2030 and they could start supplying water to homes by the mid to late 2030s. Both this project and plans for another reservoir in the Cambridgeshire Fens are classified as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). These are projects where the government provides the final approval to proceed, including the planning permission.
This permission is called a Development Consent Order (DCO), and the legal process to obtain consent under the Planning Act 2008 is tightly regulated by the Planning Inspectorate.
The community consultation events are:
Scredington Community Centre, 30 Church Lane, Scredington, NG34 0AG – Tuesday November 1, 11.30am – 5pm.
Helpringham Memorial Hall, 6 George St, Helpringham, NG34 0RS – Monday November 7, 5pm - 8pm.
Horbling Parish Meeting Room, Spring Lane, Horbling, NG34 0PF – Thursday November 10, 11am - 1.30pm.
Billingborough Village Hall, Chapel St, Billingborough, NG34 0QH – Friday November 11, 10.30am – 2pm.
Heckington Village Hall, 9-11 High Street, Heckington, NG34 9RA – Saturday November 12, 10.30am – 4pm.
Swaton Village Hall (The Hut), next to St Michael’s Church, High Street, Swaton, NG34 0JN – Monday November 14, 3.30pm – 7.30pm.
You can register for community webinars via the website being staged on Monday October 31, 6pm - 7pm and Wednesday November 16, 6pm - 7pm.
The mapping tool on the website lets users pin comments to different locations on the proposed site area. But you can also send an email to: [email protected] or write to the freepost address: Freepost Lincolnshire Reservoir.
You can pick up more information at Scredington Community Centre, Helpringham Memorial Hall, Billingborough Village Hall, Heckington Village Hall, The Source Riverside Church in Sleaford, Sleaford Library and Donington Library.