Devastated by new reservoir plans near Sleaford

A proposed reservoir south of Sleaford has come as devastating news for farmers and residents who would lose their homes and livelihoods.

Devastated. Hannah Thorogood with her daughters Martha Thorogood, 15 and Elisabeth Thorogood-Bos, 15.
Devastated. Hannah Thorogood with her daughters Martha Thorogood, 15 and Elisabeth Thorogood-Bos, 15.

Anglian Water hopes to build the multi-billion-pound reservoir between Scredington and Swaton.

It would require five square kilometres to be flooded, and would serve half a million homes in drier Cambridgeshire and the south east part of the region.

Details were announced as property owners whose land would be underwater received letters on Monday September 5.

Equine trainer Nicola Parkin fears her whole livelihood will be lost.

Advertisement

A petition against the plans has already gathered 2,000 signatures.

Hannah Thorogood has owned and run the Inkpot, a 100 acre organic permaculture farm, with her family since 2010.

“The letter about the reservoir was a bolt out of the blue. It was absolutely devastating, like a bomb had gone off in our lives,” she said. “A lot of people are saying they won’t be able to farm again.

“We’ve been told a planning decision won’t be made until 2025, and if it’s approved we won’t get compensation until 2028/29.

Advertisement

“It already feels like farming a graveyard.”

She argued that unlike Rutland Water, the reservoir will be unattractive for leisure, surrounded by a 20-30 metre high bank.

Equine trainer Nicola Parkin said her world had been turned upside down, fearing her business will be destroyed.

“This is my dream I’ve poured my heart and soul into – to say I’m devastated doesn’t even scratch the surface,” the mum-of-four said. “I was hoping to invest in my business next year, but all that will be on hold for four years.”

Advertisement

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “As the recent drought has shown, it is critical that we put in place plans to ensure that we have sufficient water to meet the needs of our growing population, particularly as we face into the consequences of climate change.

“Our proposals go beyond just building a new reservoir, we will create new habitats for wildlife and places for people to explore, and exciting new leisure facilities for people to enjoy.”

A formal public consultation process will begin this October and a final decision will be made by the government due to the scale.