Vale calls for public inquiry into Thames Water’s reservoir plans

Vale of White Horse District Council has responded to Thames Water’s proposed draft Water Resources Management Plan by recommending a public inquiry is held to examine the draft plan to ensure the water company has correctly followed procedures. 

The council is concerned that Thames Water has not fully explored and assessed each option in sufficient detail in its draft plan, which sets out how it intends to provide a secure and sustainable supply of water for the next 80 years. 

One of Thames Water’s options is to build a large reservoir between the villages of Drayton, East Hanney and Steventon that would hold 150 million cubic metres of water and would be larger than the whole town of Abingdon.  

The council needs to see all of Thames Water’s proposals to include detailed analysis on the implications on local residents, roads and landscape, wildlife and habitats, biodiversity and take into consideration any archaeological significance of any proposed site. 

Cllr Matthew Barber, Leader of the Vale of the White Horse District Council said: “We are yet to be convinced that the proposed reservoir at Abingdon is necessary or indeed the most effective option to address the future water needs of the south-east of England.” 

He added: “The key issue in a previous public inquiry in 2010, into Thames Water’s draft plan, expressed the same concerns and we would still like to see all proposed options fully assessed to the appropriate level of detail.” 

Consultation on Thames Water’s draft plan runs until 29 April. 

A copy of the letter sent to Thames Water can be found here (50.8 KB) PDF.