Public consultation on new reservoir in Lincolnshire begins

Anglian Water is launching the first phase of public consultation on a proposed new reservoir in Lincolnshire on Wednesday (October 12).

A map layout of the proposed reservoir with suggested environment, conservation and leisure opportunities.
A map layout of the proposed reservoir with suggested environment, conservation and leisure opportunities.

The proposed location for the reservoir confirmed by Anglian last month is an area south-east of Sleaford, between Swaton and Scredington.

The water company says the reservoir will supply enough water for around half a million homes, as well as protecting the environment by enabling Anglian to reduce the amount of water taken from rivers and underground aquifers elsewhere in the region. They aim to also turn it into a new visitor destination, creating new jobs, and wider economic, environmental, leisure and health benefits for the local community.

However there has already objections from residents who would have to move from the site, some fear they would lose their farms and businesses forever due to the inability to relocate.

An illustration of the proposed reservoir embankment.

The project forms part of Anglian’s long term Water Resources Management Plan, and is linked to the wider regional plan led by Water Resources East. These plans look 25 years ahead, with the objective of ensuring the region is resilient to more frequent episodes of drought brought on by climate change, all while improving environmental protection.

Dr Geoff Darch, Water Resources Strategy Manager for Anglian Water said: “This project will build on decades of existing investment in resilient infrastructure – like a 400km strategic pipeline which will move water from the north to the south and east of the region, existing networks of reservoirs and water storage, as well as continuing to help customers to reduce demand and driving down leakage to world leading low levels. But we know, that to keep taps running in the future, we’ll need more water storage in our region, in the form of new reservoirs.”

The plan for new reservoirs has been developing over the last 10 years, with the water company now ready to share the findings of a detailed site selection study in the autumn, in what will be the first of a multi-phase consultation on the proposals.

Dr Darch added: “This week a formal public consultation process will begin giving communities and wider stakeholders the opportunity to have their say and to help shape the development of the design of the reservoir and inform the economic, social, and environmental opportunities it could create for the local area.

Land near Scredington that could be under water with the new reservoir proposal.

“We know the effect on those impacted by our proposals including homeowners, landowners and the nearby community because we’ve already been speaking to those most directly affected, to give them the opportunity to ask us any questions about what this might mean for them.

“We are committed to working with everyone as the project develops and want to hear all views on our emerging proposals. Our proposals go beyond just building a new reservoir, we will create new habitats for wildlife and places for people and create great natural places to explore, and exciting new leisure facilities for people to enjoy. The reservoir will help secure water supplies for future generations, in Lincolnshire and across the wider Anglian region, so we can address the challenges of a changing climate, environmental protection and population growth.”

Together with a panel of expert partners, Anglian Water says it has been undertaking a wide range of assessments to identify potential locations for the reservoir. That includes considering impacts on people and communities, the needs of the environment, landscape, existing water sources, engineering requirements, flood protection and many other factors. The work has also considered what opportunities the reservoir could create for local communities and the wider region.

The initial consultation will run from October 12 until December 21. As part of this consultation Anglian has provided a very early concept design for the reservoir to help stimulate thought and discussion. It shows some of the potential features they hope to include in the reservoir like wildlife areas, recreation and water sports, green infrastructure like cycleways and renewable energy, and others. This will be developed further as the project progresses taking account of everyone’s feedback.

Further information on the reservoirs and how to get involved can be found at: www.lincsreservoir.co.uk