County council to ‘hold water company’s feet to fire’ over Sleaford area reservoir plans

Anglian Water’s “bold” vision for a Lincolnshire reservoir has been welcomed by councillors.

The area between Scredington, Helpringham and Swaton earmarked for the new reservoir.
The area between Scredington, Helpringham and Swaton earmarked for the new reservoir.

However, they plan to “hold the water company’s feet to the fire” in order to make sure promised benefits are delivered to the Sleaford area.

The scheme would see around 50 properties lost near the village of Scredington and mean the loss of thousands of acres of agricultural land, prompting concerns among people living in the area, but would ensure water supply in the future.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Environment and Economy panel praised the move towards water security.

Proposed leisure and wildlife benefits mapped out around the proposed reservoir.

However, they were keen to minimise the impact on local residents.

Councillor Ashley Baxter said: “We need more bold infrastructure projects like this. This will help to solve the water crisis – if only we had the same boldness with energy issues.”

The plans were described as “too good to be true” by Councillor Matt Boles, who added that they needed to ensure Anglian Water delivered on promises.

Anglian Water wants to build two reservoirs, the other in the Cambridgeshire fens as it says the East of England has a third less rainfall than other areas of the UK and the reservoir will help safeguard future water supplies.

A profile of how banking around the new reservoir would work.

There was sympathy for residents who would lose their homes and livelihoods during the work.

“The local people directly affected should be front and centre of our response,” said Councillor Ian Carrington.

“We need to hold Anglian Water’s feet to fire – if you can do that with a water company – and ensure local communities get the economic and social benefits.”

Council Hugo Marfleet agreed, adding: “We’re not here to clean up damage from big infrastructure projects. The road network will be affected and every local verge will get trashed.

“We need to make sure Anglian Water does a good reinstatement job, and the taxpayer isn’t funding this.”

Members were generally impressed with the appearance and promised leisure facilities, with Councillor Ian Fleetwood saying: “It won’t be a blot on the horizon that is visibly intrusive.”

However, they were cautioned that it was unlikely to look like Rutland Water, which has appeared on Anglian Water’s promotional material, as it will require a high bank around the edges.

The final decision on the reservoir will be made by the government in around 2027, although the county council will get their say on plans.

The first round of consultation will last until December 21. Comments can be emailed to [email protected] or through www.lincsreservoir.co.uk.

Community events will be held during November at local villages. See the full details online.